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No. 6 



No. 6 












SCHOOL OF qnriAi x^/r^oir 


The Hogarth Press Ltd 


Clarke, Irwin & Co. Ltd 


This Translation 

First published 1922 

Second Impression 1 940 

Third Impression 1 945 

Fourth Impression 1948 

Fifth Impression 1949 



cr t. 



A comparison of the following pages with the 
German original {^Massenpsychologie und Ich-Analyse, 
Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, Vienna, 192 i) 
will show that certain passages have been transferred 
in the English version from the text to the footnotes. 
This alteration has been carried out at the author's 
express desire. 

All technical terms have been translated in 
accordance with the Glossary to be published as a 
supplement to the International Jo7irnal of Psycho- 
Analysis . 

J. s. 



I Introduction . . . . 

II Le Bon's Description of the Group Mind 

in Other Accounts of Collective Mental Life 

IV Suggestion and Libido 

V Two Artificial Groups: the Church and the Army 

VI Further Problems and Lines of Work 

i/VII Identification 

^YSl Being in Love and Hypnosis 

IX The Herd Instinct 

X The Group and the Primal Horde 

XI A Differentiating Grade in the Ego 

Xn Postscript .... 


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■ 33 

he Army 

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. 60 

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. 71 

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. 81 

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• a 

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The contrast between Individual Psychology and Social 
or Group ^ Psychology, which at a first glance may 
seem to be full of significance, loses a great deal 
of its sharpness when it is examined -more closely. 
It is true that Individual Psychology is concerned 
with the individual man and explores the paths by 
which he seeks to find satisfaction for his instincts; but 
only rarely and under certain exceptional conditions 
is Individual Psychology in a position to disregard the 
relations of this individual to others. In the individual's 
mental life someone else is invariably involved, as a 

* P Group' is used throughout this translation as equivalent 
to the rather more comprehensive German ^ Masse\ The author 
uses this latter word to render both McDougall's 'group', and 
also Le Bon's ^foule\ which would more naturally be translated 
'crowd '-in English. For the sake of uniformity, however, 'group' 
has been preferred in this case as well, and has been substituted 
for 'crowd' even in the extracts from the English translation of 
Le Bon. — Translator ?[ 

2 Grotip Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

model, as an object, as a helper, as an opponent, 
and so from the ver}^ first Individual Psychology is at 
the same time Social Psychology as well — in this 
extended but entirely justifiable sense of the words. 

The relations of an individual to his parents and 
to his brothers and sisters, to the object of his love, 
and to his physician — in fact all the relations which 
have hitherto been the chief subject of psycho- 
analytic research — may claim to be considered as 
social phenomena; and in this respect they may be 
contrasted with certain other processes, described b}^ 
us as ' narcissistic ' , in which the satisfaction of the 
instincts is partially or totally withdrawn from the 
influence of other people. The contrast between 
social and narcissistic — Bleuler would perhaps call 
them 'autistic' — mental acts therefore falls wholly 
within the domain of Individual Psycholog}^ and is 
not well calculated to differentiate it from a Social 
or Group Psychology. 

The individual in the relations w^hich have already 
been mentioned — to his parents and to his brothers 
and sisters, to the person he is in love with, to his 
friend, and to his physician — comes under the influence 
of only a single person, or of a ver}^ small number 
of persons, each one of whom has become enormously 
important to him. Now in speaking of Social or 
Group Psychology it has become usual to leave these 
relations on one side and to isolate as the subject of 

Introduction 3 

inquirv^ the influencing of an individual by a large 
number of people simultaneously, people with whom 
he is connected by something, though otherwise they 
may in many respects be strangers to him. Groups 
Psychology is therefore concerned with the individual' 
man as a member of a race, of a nation, of a caste, 
of a profession, of an institution, or as a component > 
part of a crowd of people who have been organised 
into a group at some particular time for some definite 
purpose. When once natural continuity has been 
severed in this w^ay, it is easy to regard the pheno- 
mena that appear under these special conditions as 
being expressions of a special instinct that is not \ 
further reducible, the social instinct ('herd instinct', ^ 
'group mind'), which does not come to light in any 
other situations. But we may perhaps venture to 
object that it seems difficult to attribute to the factor 
of number a significance so great as to make it capable 
by itself of arousing in our mental life a new instinct 
that is otherwise not brought into play. Our ex- 
pectation is therefore directed towards two other 
possibilities: that the social instinct may not be a 
primitive one and insusceptible of dissection, and that 
it may be possible to discover the beginnings of its 
development in a narrow^er circle, such as that of the 

Although Group Psychology is only in its infancy, 
it embraces an immense number of separate issues 

4 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

and offers to investigators countless problems which 
have hitherto not even been properly distinguished 
from one another. The mere classification of the 
different forms of group formation and the description 
of the mental phenomena produced by them require 
a great expenditure of observation and exposition, 
and have already given rise to a copious* literature. 
Anyone who compares the narrow dimensions of this 
little book with the extent of Group Psychology will 
at once be able to guess that only a few points chosen 
from the whole material are to be dealt with here. 
And they will in fact only be a few^ questions with 
which the depth-psychology of psycho-analysis is 
specially concerned. 



Instead of starting from a definition, it seems 
more useful to begin with some indication of the 
range of the phenomena under review, and to select 
from among them a few specially striking and 
characteristic facts to which our inquiry can be 
attached. We can achieve both of these aims by 
means of quotation from Le Bon's deservedly famous 
work Psychologic des fotdcs) 

Let us make the matter clear once again. If a 
Psychology, concerned with exploring the predis- 
positions, the instincts, the motives and the aims of 
an individual man down to his actions and his rela- 
tions with those who are nearest to him, had completely 
achieved its task, and had cleared up the whole of 
these matters with their inter-connections, it would 
then suddenly find itself confronted by a new task 
which would lie before it unachieved. It would be 

* The Crowd: a Study of the Popular Mind, Fisher Unwin, 
1 2th. Impression, 1920. 

6 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

obliged to explain the surprising fact that under a 
certain condition this individual whom it had come 
to understand thought, felt, and acted in quite a 
different way from what would have been expected. 
And this condition is his insertion into a collection 
of people which has acquired the characteristic of a 
^psychological group'. What, then, is a 'group'? 
How does it acquire the capacity for exercising such 
a decisive influence over the mental life of the 
individual? And what is the nature of the mental 
change which it forces upon the individual? 

It is the task of a theoretical Group Psychology 
to answ^er these three questions. The best way of 
approaching them is evidently to start with the third. 
Observation of the changes in the individual's reactions 
is what provides Group Psychology with its material; 
for every attempt at an explanation must be preceded 
by a description of the thing that is to be 

I will now let Le Bon speak for himself. He 
says: 'The most striking peculiarity presented by a 
psychological group ^ is the following. Whoever be 
the individuals that compose it, however like or 
unlike be their mode of life, their occupations, their 
character, or their intelligence, the fact that they 
have been transformed into a group puts them in 
possession of a sort of collective mind which makes 

^ [See footnote page i.] 

Le Bon' s Description of the Group Mind 7 

them feel, think, and act in a manner quite different 
from that in which each individual of them would 
feel, think, and act were he in a state of isolation. 
There are certain ideas and feelings which do not 
come into being, or do not transform themselves into 
acts except in the case of individuals forming a group. 
The psychological group is a provisional being formed 
of heterogeneous elements, which for a moment are 
combined, exactly as the cells which constitute a 
living body form by their reunion a nev/ being which 
displays characteristics very different from those 
possessed by each of the cells singly.' (p. 29.)^ 

We shall take the libert\' of interrupting Le 
Bon's exposition with glosses of our own, and shall 
accordingly insert an observation at this point. If 
the individuals in the group are combined into a 
unity, there must surely be something to unite them, 
and this bond might be precisely the thing that is 
characteristic of a group. But Le Bon does not answer 
this question; he goes on to consider the alteration 
which the individual undergoes when in a group and 
describes it in terms w-hich harmonize well with the 
fundamental postulates of our own depth-psychology. 

' It is easy to prove how much the individual 
forming part of a group differs from the isolated 
individual, but it is less easy to discover the causes 
of this difference. 

^ [References are to the English translation. — Translator?^ 

8 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

* To obtain at any rate a glimpse of them it is 
necessary in the first place to call to mind the truth 
established by modern psychology, that unconscious 
phenomena play an altogether preponderating part 
not only in organic life, but also in the operations 
of the intelligence. The conscious life of the mind is' 
of small importance in comparison with its uncon- 
scious life. The most subtle analyst, the most acute 
observer, is scarcety successful in discovering more 
than a very small number of the conscious^ motives 
that determine his conduct. Our conscious acts ' are 
the outcome of an unconscious substratum created in 
the mind in the main by hereditary influences. This 
substratum consists of the innumerable common 
characteristics handed down from generation to 
generation, which constitute the genius of a race. 
Behind the avowed causes of our acts there undoubt- 
edly lie secret causes that we do not avow, but 
> behind these secret causes there are many others 
more secret still, of which we ourselves are 
ignorant.^ The greater part of our daily actions are 
the result of hidden motives which escape our 
observation. ' (p. 30.) 

^ [The German translation of Le Bon, quoted by the author, 
reads ^ beivusster' \ the English translation has 'unconscious'; and 
the original French text ^ inconscients\— Translator.] 

' [The English translation reads 'which we ourselves ignore' — 
a misunderstanding of the French word 'ignorees\ — Translator.] 

Le Bon's Description of the Group Mind 9 

Le Bon thinks that the particular acquirements 
of individuals become obliterated in a group, and 
that in this way their distinctiveness vanishes. The 
racial unconscious emerges; what is heterogeneous is 
submerged in what is homogeneous. We may say 
■~that-^the mental superstructure, the development of 
which in individuals shows such dissimilarities, is 
removed, and that the unconscious foundations, which 
are similar in everyone, stand exposed to view. ^ 

In this way individuals in a group would come\^ 
to show an .average character. But Le Bon believes ^ 
that they also display new characteristics which they 
have not previously possessed, and he seeks the 
reason for this in three different factors. 

^*The first is that the individual forming part of t.- 
a group acquires, solely from numerical considerations, 
a sentiment of invincible power which allows him to' 
yield to instincts which, had he been alone, he would 
perforce have kept under restraint. He will be the 
less disposed to check himself from ±he consideration 
that, a group being anonymous, and in consequence 
irresponsible, the sentiment of responsibility which 
always controls individuals disappears entirely.' (p. 33.) y 

From our point of view we need not attribute 
so much importance to the appearance of new 
characteristics. For us it would be enough \o say 
that in a group the individual is brought under con- 
ditions which allow him to throw off the repressions ' 


I O Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

of his unconscious instincts. Theapparently new 
^characteristics whichhg_,tben^ displays are in fact 
the mam lestations of th is unconscious^ in wh ich all 
that is evil in tHe human mind is contained as a 

pFedisposition. We can find no difficulty inunder^ 
standing tEe~* disappearance of conscience or of a 

^sehse of -responsibility in these circumstances. It has 
long been our contention that ' dread of society [soziale 
Angsty is the essence of what is called conscience.^ 

^ ■"'^ *The second cause, which is contagion, also 
intervenes to determine the manifestation in groups 
of their special characteristics, and at the same time 
the trend they are to take. Contagion is a pheno- 
menon of which it is easy to establish the presence, 
but that it is not easy to explain. It must be classed 


among those phenomena of a Jiypnotix: order, which 
we shall shortly study. In a group every sentiment 
and act is contagious, and contagious to such a 

■ * There is some difference between Le Bon's view and 
ours owing to his concept of the unconscious not quite coinciding 
with the one adopted by psycho-analysis. Le Bon's unconscious 
more especially contains the most deeply buried features of the 
racial mind, which as a matter of fact lies outside the scope of 
psycho-analysis. We do not fail to recognize, indeed, that the 
ego's nucleus, which comprises the 'archaic inheritance' of the 
human mind, is unconscious; but in addition to this we 
distinguish the 'unconscious repressed', which arose from a 
portion of that inheritance. This concept of the repressed is not 
to be found in Le Bon. 

Le Bon's Description of the Group Mind 1 1 

degree that an individual readily sacrifices his personal 
interest to the collective interest. This is an aptitude 
very contrary to his nature, and of which a man is 
scarcely capable, except when he makes part of a 
group.' (p. 33.) 

We shall later on base an important conjecture 
upon this last statement. 

* A third cause, and by far the most important, 
determines in the individuals of a group special cha- 
racteristics which are quite contrary at times to 
those presented by the isolated individual. I allude 
to that suggestibility of which, moreover, the contagion 
mentioned above is only an effect. 

' To understand this phenomenon it is necessary 
to bear in mind certain recent physiological discoveries. 
We know to-day that by various processes an individ- \ 
ual may be brought into such a condition that, 
having entirely lost his conscious personality, he obeys 
all the suggestions of the operator who has deprived 
him of it, and commits acts in utter contradiction 
with his character and habits. The most careful 
investigations seem to prove that an individual im- 
mersed for some length of time in a group in action 
soon finds himself — either in consequence of the 
magnetic influence given out by the group, or from 
some other cause of which we are ignorant — in a 
special state, which much resembles the state of 
fascination in which the hypnotised individual finds 

1 2 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

himself in the hands of the hypnotiser. . . . The 
conscious personality has entirely vanished ; will 
and discernment are lost. All feelings and thoughts 
are bent in the direction determined by the 

' Such also is approximately the state of the 
individual forming part of a psychological group. He 
is no longer conscious of his acts. In his case, as 
in the case of the hypnotised subject, at the same 
time that certain faculties are destroyed, others may 
be brought to a high degree of exaltation. Under 
the influence of a suggestion, he will undertake the 
accomplishment of certain acts with irresistible im- 
petuosity. This impetuosity is the more irresistible in 
the case of groups than in that of the hypnotised 
subject, from the fact that, the suggestion being the 
same for all the individuals of the group, it gains in 
strength by reciprocity.' (p. 34.) 

* We see, then, that the disappearance of the 
conscious personality, the predominance of the un- 
conscious personality, the turning by means of sug- 
gestion and contagion of feelings and ideas in an 
identical direction, the tendency to immediately trans- 
form the suggested ideas into acts; these, we see, are 
the principal characteristics of the individual forming 
part of a group. He is no longer himself, but has 
become an automaton who has ceased to be guided 
by his will.' (p. 35.) 

Le Bon' s Description of the Group Mind 1 3 

I have quoted this passage so fully in order to 
make it quite clear that Le Bon explains the condition 
of an individual in a group as being actually hypnotic, 
and does not merely make a comparison between 
the two states. We have no intention of raising any 
objection at this point, but wish only to emphasize 
the fact that the tw^o last causes of an individual 
becoming altered in a group (the contagion and the 
heightened suggestibility) are evidently not on a par, 
since the contagion seems actually to be a manifestation 
of the suggestibility. Moreover the effects of the two 
factors do not seem to be sharply differentiated in 
the text of Le Bon's remarks. We may perhaps 
best interpret his statement if we connect the contagion 
with the eftects of the individual members of the 
group upon one another, w^hile we point to another 
source for those manifestations of suggestion in the 
group which are put on a level with the phenomena 
.of hypnotic influence. But to w^hat source? We 
cannot avoid being struck with a sense of deficiency 
when we notice that one of the chief elements of 
the comparison, namely the person who is to replace 
the hypnotist in the case of the group, is not mentioned 
in Le Bon's exposition. But he nevertheless dis- 
tinguishes between this influence of fascination which 
remains plunged in obscurity and the contagious effect 
which the individuals exercise upon one another and 
by which the original suggestion is strengthened. 

1 4 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

Here is yet another important consideration for 
helping us to understand the individual in a group: 
* Moreover, by the mere fact that he forms part of 
an organised group, a man descends several rungs 
in the ladder of civilisation. Isolated, he may be a 
cultivated individual; in a crowd, he is a barbarian — 
that is, a creature acting by instinct. He possesses 
the spontaneity, the violence, the ferocity, and also 
the enthusiasm and heroism of primitive beings. ' 
/ (p. 36.) He then dwells especially upon the low^ering in 
intellectual ability which an individual experiences when 
he becomes merged in a group.^ 

Let us now leave the individual, and turn to 
the group mind, as it has been outlined by Le Bon. 
It shows not a single feature which a psycho-analyst 
would find any difficulty in placing or in deriving 
from its source. Le Bon himself shows us the way 
by pointing to its similarity with the mental life of 
primitive people and of children (p. 40). 

A group is impulsive, changeable and irritable. 
It is led almost exclusively by the unconscious.^ The 

^ Compare Schiller's couplet: 
Jeder, sieht man ihn einzeln, ist leidlichklug und verstandig; 

Sind sie in corpore, gleich wird euch ein Dummkopf daraus. 
[Everyone, seen by himself, is passably shrewd and discerning; 

When they're in corpore, then straightway you'll find 

he's an ass.] 

^ ' Unconscious ' is used here correctly by Le Bon in the 
descriptive sense, where it does not only mean the 'repressed'. 

Le Bon' s Description of the Group Mind 1 5 

impulses which a group obeys may according to 
circumstances be generous or cruel, heroic or cowardly, 
but they are always so imperious that no personal 
interest, not even that of self-preservation, can make 
itself felt (p. 41). Nothing about it is premeditated. 
Though it may desire things passionately, yet this 
is never so for long, for it is incapable of perse- 
verance. It cannot tolerate any delay between its 
desire and the fulfilment of what it desires. It has 
a sense of omnipotence; the notion of impossibility 
disappears for the individual in a group. ^ 

A group is extraordinarily credulous and open 
to influence, it has no critical faculty, and the 
improbable does not exist for it. It thinks in images, w- 
which call one another up by association (just as 
they arise with individuals in states of free imagination), 
and whose agreement with reality is never checked 
by any reasonable function \Instanz\? The_jeelings__of^ 
a group are always very simple and very exagger-'^ 
a ted. S o that a group knows neifheP~doubt nor 
uncertainty.^" " """ ~^ 

^ Compare Totem unci Tabu, III., 'Animismus, Magie, und 
Allmacht der Gedanken.' [Totem and Taboo. New York, Moffat, 10 18. 
London, Kegan Paul, 19 19.] 

^ [See footnote p. 69.] 

^ ^ In the interpretation of dreams, to which, indeed, we 
owe our best knowledge of unconscious mental life, we follow a 
technical rule of disregarding doubt and uncertainty in the narrative 

1 6 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

It goes directly to extremes; if a suspicion is 
expressed, it is instantly changed into an incontrovertible 
certainty; a trace of antipathy is turned into furious 
hatred (p. 56).^ 

Inclined as it itself is to all extremes, a group 
can only be excited by an excessive stimulus. Anyone 
who wishes to produce an effect upon it needs no 
logical adjustment in his arguments; he must paint 

of the dream, and of treating every element of the . manifest 
dream as being quite certain. We attribute doubt and uncer- 
tainty to the influence of the censorship to which the dream-work 
is subjected, and we assume that the primary dream-thoughts are 
not acquainted with doubt and uncertainty as critical processes. 
They may naturally be present, like everything else, as part of 
the content of the day's residue which leads to the dream. 
(See Die TraumdeuHtng, 6. Auflage, 192 1, S. 386. \The Inter- 
pretation of Dreams. Allen and Unwin, 3rd. Edition, 191 3, 
p. 409.]) . ■ 

^ The same extreme and unmeasured intensification of 
every emotion is also a feature of the affective life of children, 
and it is present as well in dream life. Thanks to the isolation 
of the single emotions in the unconscious, a slight annoyance 
during the day will express itself in a dream as a wish for the 
offending person's death, or a breath of temptation may give the 
impetus to the portrayal in the dream of a criminal action. 
Hanns Sachs has made an appropriate remark on this point: 'If 
we try to discover in consciousness all that the dream has made 
known to us of its bearing upon the present (upon reality), we 
need not be surprised that what we saw as a monster under the 
microscope of analysis now reappears as an infusorium.' {Die 
Tratmideutung, S. 457. [Translation p. 493.]) 

Le Bon' 5 Description of the Group Mind 1 7 

in the most forcible colours, he must exaggerate, 
and he must repeat the same thing again and 

Since a group is in no doubt as to what con- 
stitutes truth or error, and is conscious, moreover, of 
its own great sti-ength, it is as intolerant as it is 
obedient to authority. It respects force and can 
only be slightly influenced by kindness, which it 
regards merely as a form of weakness. What it 
demands of its heroes is strength, or even violence. 
It wants to be ruled and oppressed and to fear its 
masters. Fundamentally it is entirely conservative, 
and it has a deep aversion from all innovations and 
advances and an unbounded respect for tradition 
(p. 62). 

In order to make a correct judgement upon the 
morals of groups, one must take into consideration 
the fact that when individuals come together in a 
group all their individual inhibitions fall away and all 
the cruel, brutal and destructive instincts, which lie 
dormant in individuals as relics of a primitive epoch, 
are stirred up to find free gratification. But under 
the influence of suggestion groups are also capable 
of high achievements in the shape of abnegation, 
unselfishness, and devotion to an ideal. While with 
isolated individuals personal interest is almost the 
only motive force, with groups it is very rarely 
prominent. It is possible to speak of an individual 

1 8 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

having his moral standards raised by a group (p. 65). 
Whereas the intellectual capacity of a group is always 
far below that of an individual, its ethical conduct 
may rise as high above his as it may sink deep 
below it. 

Some other features in Le Bon's description 
show in a clear light how well justified is the identi- 
fication of the group mind with the mind of primitive 
people. In groups the most contradictory ideas can 
exist side by side and tolerate each other, without 
any conflict arising from the logical contradiction 
between them. But this is also the case in the un- 
conscious mental life of individuals, of children and of 
neurotics, as psycho-analysis has long pointed out.^ 

^ In young children, for instance, ambivalent emotional 
attitudes towards those who are nearest to them exist side by 
side for a long time, without either of them interfering with 
the expression of the other and contrary one. If eventually a 
conflict breaks out between the two, it is often settled by the 
child making a change of object and displacing one of the 
ambivalent emotions on to a substitute. The history of the devel- 
opment Of a neurosis in an adult will also show that a sup- 
pressed emotion may frequently persist for a long time in un- 
conscious or even in conscious phantasies, the content of which 
naturally runs directly counter to some predominant tendency, 
and yet that this antagonism does not result in any proceedings 
on the part of the ego against what it has repudiated. The 
phantasy is tolerated for quite a long time, until suddenly one 
day, usually as a result of an increase in the affective cathexis 
[see footnote page 48] of the phantasy, a conflict breaks out 
between it and the ego with all the usual consequences. In the 

Le Bon's Description of the Group Mind 19 

A group, further, is subject to the truly magical 
power of words; they can evoke the most formidable 
tempests in the group mind, and are also capable of 
stilling them (p. 117). ^Reason and arguments are 
incapable of combating certain- words and formulas. 
They are uttered with solemnity in the presence of 
groups, and as soon as they have been pronounced 
an expression of respect is visible on every coun- 
tenance, and all heads are bowed. By many they 
are considered as natural forces, as supernatural 
powers.' (p. 117.) It is only necessary in this con- 
nection to remember the taboo upon names among 
primitive people and the magical powers which they 
ascribe to names and words. ^ 

And,- finally, groups have never thirsted after 
truth. They demand illusions, and cannot do without 

process of a child's development into a mature adult there is a 
more and more extensive integration of its personality, a co- 
ordination of the separate instinctive feelings and desires which 
have grown up in him independently of one another. The analogous 
process in the domain of sexual life has long been known to us 
as the co-ordination of all the sexual instincts into a definitive 
genital organisation. {Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie, 1 90 5. 
[Three Contributions' to the Sexual Theory. Nervous and Mental 
Disease Monograph Series, No. 7, 1910.]) Moreover, that the 
unification of the ego is liable to the same interferences as that 
of the libido is shown by numerous familiar instances, such as 
that of men of science who have preser\^ed their faith in the 
Bible, and the like. 

* See Totem unci Tabu. 

20 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

them. They constantly give what is unreal precedence 
over what is real; they are almost as strongly in- 
fluenced by what is untrue as by what is true. They 
have an evident tendency not to distinguish between 

the two (p. ^^), 

We have pointed out that this predominance of 
the life of phantasy and of the illusion born of an 
unfulfilled wish is the ruling factor in the psychology 
of neuroses. We have found that what neurotics 
are guided by is not ordinary objective reality but 
psychological reality. A hysterical symptom is based 
upon phantasy instead of upon the repetition of real 
experience, and the sense of guilt in an obsessional 
neurosis is based upon the fact of an evil intention 
which was never carried out. Indeed, just as in 
dreams and in hypnosis, in the mental operations 
of a group the function for testing the reality of 
things falls into the background in comparison with 
the strength of wishes with their affective cathexis.^ 

What Le Bon says on the subject of leaders of 
groups is less exhaustive, and does, not enable us to 
make out an underlying principle so clearly. He 
thinks that as soon as living beings are gathered 
together in certain numbers, no matter whether 
they are a herd of animals or a collection of human 
beings, they place themselves instinctively under the 

^ [See footnote p. 48.] 

Le Bon's Description of the Group Mind 2 1 

authority of a chief (p. 134). A group is an obed- 
ient herd, which could never live without a master. 
It has such a thirst for obedience that it submits 
instinctively to anyone who appoints himself its master. 

Although in this way the needs of a group carry 
it half-way to meet the leader, yet he too must fit in 
with it in his personal qualities. He must himself b e 
heldji-iascination by a strong faith (in an idea) in 
order to awaken the group's faith j he must possess 
a strong and inipnsing will, which the group, which 
has no will of its own, can accept from him. Le 
Bon then discusses the different kinds of leaders, and 
the means by which they work upon the group. On 
the whole he believes that the leaders make themselves 
felt by means of the ideas in which they themselves 
are fanatical believers. 

Moreover, he ascribes both to the ideas and to 
the leaders a mysterious and irresistible power, which 
he calls 'prestige'. Prestige is a sort of domination 
exercised over us by an individual, a work or an idea. 
It entirely paralyses our 'critical faculty, and fills us 
with astonishment and respect. It would seem to 
arouse a feeling like that of fascination in hypnosis 
(p. 148). He distinguishes between acquired or arti- 
ficial and personal prestige. The former is attached 
to persons in virtue of their name, fortune and reput- 
ation, and to opinions, works of art, etc., in virtue 
of tradition. Since in every case it harks back to 


22 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

the past, it cannot be of much help to us in under- 
standing this puzzling influence. Personal prestige is 
attached to a few people, who become leaders by 
means of it, and it has the effect of making every- 
thing obey them as though by the operation of some 
magnetic magic. All prestige, however, is also 
dependent upon success, and is lost in the event of 
failure (p. 159). 

We cannot feel that Le Bon has brought the 
function of the leader and the importance of prestige 
completely into harmony with his brilliantly executed 
picture of the group mind. 




We have made use of Le Bon's description by 
way of introduction, because it fits in so well with 
our own Psychology in the emphasis which it lays 
upon unconscious mental life. But we must now add 
that as a matter of fact none of that author's state- 
ments bring forward anything new. Everything that he 
says to the detriment and depreciation of the mani- 
festations of the group mind had already been said 
by others before him with equal distinctness and 
equal hostility, and has been repeated in unison by 
thinkers, statesmen and writers since the earliest 
periods of literature.^ The two theses which com- 
prise the most important of Le Bon's opinions, those 
touching upon the collective inhibition of intellectual 
functioning and the heightening of affectivity in groups, 

* B. Kraskovic jun. : Die Psychologie der Kollektivitdien. 
Translated [into German] from the Croatian by Siegmund von 
Posavec. Vukovar, 191 5. See the body of the work as well as 
the bibliography. 

24 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

had been formulated shortly before by Sighele.* At 
bottom, all that is left over as being peculiar to Le 
Bon are the two notions of the unconscious and of 
the comparison with the mental life of primitive 
people, and even these had naturally often been 
alluded to before him. 

But, what is more, the description and estimate 
of the group mind as they have been given by Le 
Bon and the rest have not by any means been left 
undisputed. There is no doubt that all the phenomena 
of the group mind which have just been mentioned 
have been correctly observed, but it is also possible 
to distinguish other manifestations of the group 
formation, which operate in a precisely opposite sense, 
and from which a much higher opinion of the group 
mind must necessarily follow. 

Le Bon himself was prepared to admit that in 
certain circumstances the morals of a group can be 
higher than those of the individuals that compose it, 
and that only collectivities are capable of a high 
degree of unselfishness and devotion. ^ While with 
isolated individuals personal interest is almost the 
only motive force, with groups it is very rarely 
prominent.' (p. 65.) Other writers adduce the fact 
that it is only society which prescribes any ethical 

* See Walter Moede : *Die Massen- und Sozialpsychologie im 
kritischen Oberblick.' Meumann and Scheibner's Zeitschrift fur 
pddagogische Psychologie und experimentelle Pddagogik. 191 5, XVI. 

Other Accounts of Collective Mental Life 25 

standards at all for the individual, while he as a 
rule fails in one way or another to come up to its 
high demands. Or they point out that in exceptional 
circumstances there may arise in communities the 
phenomenon of enthusiasm, which has made the 
most splendid group achievements possible. 

As regards intellectual work it remains a fact, 
indeed, that great decisions in the realm of thought 
and momentous discoveries and solutions of problems 
are only possible to an individual, working in solitude. 
But even the group mind is capable of genius in 
intellectual creation, as is shown above all by language 
itself, as well as by folk-song, folk-lore and the like. 
It remains an open question, moreover, how much 
the individual thinker or writer owes [to the stimulation 
of the group in which he lives, or whether he does 
more than perfect a mental work in which the others 
have had a simultaneous share. 

In face of these completely contradictory accounts, 
it looks as though the work of Group Psycholog}'- 
were bound to come to an ineffectual end. But it 
is easy to find a more hopeful escape from the 
dilemma. A number of very different formations have 
probably been merged under the term ^ group ' and 
may require to be distinguished. The assertions of 
Sighele, Le Bon. find the rest relate to groups of a 
short-lived character, which some passing interest has 
hastily agglomerated out of various sorts of individuals. 

26 Gro2ip Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

The characteristics of revolutionary groups, and 
especially those of the great French Revolution, have 
unmistakably influenced their descriptions. The op- 
posite opinions owe their origin to the consideration 
of those stable groups or associations in which 
mankind pass their lives, and w^hich are embodied in 
the institutions of society. Groups of the first kind stand 
in the same sort of relation to those of the second 
as a high but choppy sea to a ground swell. 

McDougall, in his book on The Group Mind^ 
starts out from the same contradiction that has just 
been mentioned, and finds a solution for it in the 
factor of organisation. In the simplest case, he says, 
the ' group ' possesses no organisation at all or one 
scarcely deserving the name. He describes a group 
of this kind as a 'crowd'. But he admits that a 
crowd of human beings can hardly come together 
without possessing at all events the rudiments of 
an organisation, and that precisely in these simple 
groups many of the fundamental facts of Collective 
Psychology can be observ^ed with special ease (p. 22). 
Before the members of a random crowd of people 
can constitute something in the nature of a group in 
the psychological sense of the word, a condition has 
to be fulfilled; these individuals must have something 
in common with one another, a common interest in 

^ Cambridge University Press, 1920. 

Other Accounts of Collective Mental Life 27 

an object, a similar emotional bias in some situation 
or other, and ('consequently', I should like to^ 
interpolate) * some degree of reciprocal influence ' , 
(p. 23). The higher the degree of 'this mental 
homogeneity', the more readily do the individuals 
form a psychological group, and the more striking 
are the manifestations of a group mind. 

The most remarkable and also the most im- 
portant result of the formation of a group Is the 
' exaltation or intensification of emotion ' produced 
in every member of it (p. 24). In McDougall's 
opinion men's emotions are stirred in a group to a 
pitch that they seldom or never attain under other 
conditions; and it is a pleasurable experience for 
those who are concerned to surrender themselves so 
unreservedly to their passions and thus to become 
merged in the group and to lose the sense of the 
limits of their individuality. The manner in which 
individuals are thus carried away by a common im- 
pulse is explained by McDougall by means of what 
he calls the 'principle of direct induction of emotion 
by way of the primitive sympathetic response' (p. 25), 
that is, by means of the emotional contagion with 
which we are already familiar. The fact is that the 
perception of the signs of an emotional state is 
calculated automatically to arouse the same emotion 
in the person who perceives them. The greater the 
number of people in whom the same emotion can 

28 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

\y be simultaneously observed, the stronger does this 
automatic compulsion grow. The individual loses his 
power of criticism, and lets himself slip into the 
same emotion. But in so doing he increases the 
excitement of the other people, who had produced 
this effect upon him, and thus the emotional charge 
of the individuals becomes intensified by mutual 
interaction. Something is unmistakably at work in 
the nature of a compulsion to do the same as the 
others, to remain in harmony with the many. The 
coarser and simpler emotions are the more apt to 
spread through a group in this way (p. 39). 

This mechanism for the intensification of emotion 
is favoured by some other influences which emanate 
from groups. A group impresses the individual with 
a sense of unlimited power and of insurmountable 
peril. For the moment it replaces the whole of 
human society, which is the wielder of authorit}^, 
whose punishments the individual fears, and for whose 
sake he has submitted to so many inhibitions. It is 
clearly perilous for him to put himself in opposition 
to it, and it will be safer to follow the example of 
those around him and perhaps even 'hunt with the 
pack'. In obedience to the new authority he may 
put his former ' conscience ' out of action, and so 
surrender to the attraction of the increased pleasure 
that is certainly obtained from the removal of in- 
hibitions. On the whole, therefore, it is not so 

Other Accounts of Collective Mental Life 29 

remarkable that we should see an individual in a 
group doing or approving things which he would 
have avoided in the normal conditions of life; and in 
this way we may even hope to clear up a little of 
the mystery which is so often covered by the 
enigmatic word * suggestion'. 

McDougall does not dispute the thesis as to 
the collective inhibition of intelligence in groups 
(p. 41). He says that the minds of lower intelligence 
bring down those of a higher order to their own 
level. The latter are obstructed in their activity, 
because in general an intensification of emotion 
creates unfavourable conditions for sound intellectual 
work, and further because the individuals are intim- 
idated by the group and their mental activity is 
not free, and because there is a lowering in each 
individual of his sense of responsibility for his own 

The judgement with which McDougall sums 
up the psychological behaviour of a simple ^ unorga- 
nised' group is no more friendly than that of 
Le Bon. Such a group * is excessively emotional, 
impulsive, violent, fickle, inconsistent, irresolute and 
extreme in action, displaying only the coarser emo- 
tions and the less refined sentiments; extremely 
suggestible, careless in deliberation, hasty in judg- 
ment, incapable of any but the simpler and 
imperfect forms of reasoning; easily swayed and led, 

30 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

lacking in self-consciousness, devoid of self-respect and 
of sense of responsibility, and apt to be carried away 
by the consciousness of its own force, so that it 
tends to produce all the manifestations we have 
learnt to expect of any irresponsible and absolute 
power. Hence its behaviour is like that of an unruly 
child or an untutored passionate savage in a strange 
situation, rather than like that of its average member; 
and in the worst cases it is like that of a wild beast, 
rather than like that of human beings.' (p. 45.) 

Since McDougall contrasts the behaviour of a 
highly organised group with what has just been des- 
cribed, we shall be particularly interested to learn 
in what this organisation consists, and by what 
factors it is produced. The author enumerates five 
/ ^ principal conditions ' for raising collective mental 
^ life to a higher level. 

The first and fundamental condition is that there 
should be some degree of continuity of existence in 
the group. This may be either material or formal: 
the former, if the same individuals persist in the 
group for some time; and the latter, if there is 
developed within the group a system of fixed positions 
which are occupied by a succession of individuals. 

The second condition is that in the individual 
member of the group some definite idea should be 
formed of the nature, composition, functions and 
capacities of the group, so that from this he may 

Other Accounts of Collective Alental Life 3 i 

develop an emotional relation to the group as a 

The third is that the group should be brought 
into interaction (perhaps in the form of rivalry) with 
other groups similar to it but differing from it in 
many respects. 

The fourth is that the group should possess 
traditions, customs and habits, and especially such as 
determine the relations of its members to one 

The fifth is that the group should have a definite 
structure, expressed in the specialisation and differ- 
entiation of the functions of its constituents. 

According to McDougall, if these conditions 
are fulfilled, the psychological disadvantages of the 
group formation are removed. The collective lower- 
ing of intellectual ability is avoided by withdrawing 
the performance of intellectual tasks from the group 
and reserving them for individual members of it. 

It seems to us that the condition which 
McDougall designates as the ' organisation ' of a 
group can with more justification be described in 
another way. The problem consists in how to pro- 
cure for the group precisely those features which 
were characteristic of the individual and which are 
extinguished in him by the formation of the group. 
For the individual, outside the primitive group, 
possessed his own continuity, his self-consciousness, 

32 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

his traditions and customs, his own particular func- 
tions and position, and kept apart from his rivals. 
Owing to his entry into an ^ unorganised ' group he had 
lost this distinctiveness for a time. If we thus recog- 
nise that the aim is to equip the group with the 
attributes of the individual, we shall be reminded 
of a valuable remark of Trotter's,^ to the effect that 
the tendency towards the formation of groups is bio- 
logically a continuation of the multicellular character 
of all the higher organisms. 

^ Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War. Fisher Unwin, 1916. 





We started from the fundamental fact that an 
individual in a group is subjected through its influence 
to what is often a profound alteration in his mental 
activity. His emotions become extraordinarily inten- 
sified, while his intellectual ability becomes markedly 
reduced, both processes being evidently in the 
direction of an approximation to the other individuals 
in the group; and this result can only be reached 
by the removal of those inhibitions upon his instincts 
which are peculiar to each individual, and by his 
resigning those expressions of his inclinations which 
are especially his own. We have heard that these 
often unwelcome consequences are to some extent 
at least prevented by a higher * organisation ' of the 
group; but this does not contradict the fundamental 
fact of Group Psychology — the two theses as to 
the intensification of the emotions and the inhibition 
of the intellect in primitive groups. Our interest is 


34 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

now directed to discovering the psychological explan- 
ation of this mental change which is experienced b}' 
the individual in a group. 

It is clear that rational factors (such as the in- 
timidation of the individual which has already been 
mentioned, that is, the action of his instinct of self- 
preservation) do not cover the observable phenomena. 
Beyond this what we are offered as an explanation 
by authorities upon Sociology and Group Psychology 
is always the same, even though it is given various 
names, and that is — the magic w^ord 'suggestion'. 
Tarde calls it ' imitation ' ; but we cannot help 
agreeing with a writer who protests that imitation 
comes under the concept of suggestion, and is in 
fact one of its results.^ Le Bon traces back all the 
puzzling features of social phenomena to two factors: 
the mutual suggestion of individuals and the prestige 
of leaders. But prestige, again, is only recognizable 
by its capacity for evoking suggestion. McDougall 
for a moment gives us an impression that his prin- 
ciple of ' primitive induction of emotion ' might enable 
us to do without the assumption of suggestion. But 
on further consideration we are forced to perceive 
that this principle says no more than the familiar 
assertions about imitation' or 'contagion', except 

* Brugeilles: 'L'essence du phenomene social: la suggestion.' 
Revne philosophiqne, 1913, XXV. 

Suggestion and Libido 35 

for a decided stress upon the emotional factor. 
There is no doubt that something exists in us 
which, when we become aware of signs of an emo- 
tion in someone else, tends to make us fall into the 
same emotion; but how often do we not successfully 
oppose it, resist the emotion, and react in quite an 
opposite way? Why, therefore, do w^e invariably give 
way to this contagion when we are in a group? 
Once more we should have to say that what com- 
pels us to obey this tendency is imitation, and what 
induces the emotion in us is the group's suggestive 
influence. Moreover, quite apart from this, McDougall 
does not enable us to evade suggestion; we hear 
from him as well as from other writers that groups 
are distinguished by their special suggestibility. 

We shall therefore be prepared for the statement 
that suggestion (or more correctly suggestibility) is. 
actually an irreducible, primitive phenomenon, a fun- "* 
damental fact in the mental life of man. Such, too, 
was the opinion of Bernheim, of whose astonishing \ 
arts I was a witness in the year 1889. But I can^ 
remember even then feeling a muffled hostility to 
this tyranny of suggestion. When a patient who 
showed himself unamenable was met with the shout: 
* What are you doing? Vous vous contresuggestionnez!\ 
I said to myself that this was an evident injustice 
and an act of violence. For the man certainly had 
a right to counter-suggestions if they were trying to 

36 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

subdue him with suggestions. Later on my resistance 
took the direction of protesting against the view that 
suggestion, which explained everything, was itself to 
be preserved from explanation. Thinking of it, I 
repeated the old conundrum : ^ 

Christoph trug Christum, 
Christus trug die ganze Welt, 
Sag' wo hat Christoph 
Damals hin den Fuss gestellt?^ 

Christophorus Christum, sed Christus sustulit orbem: 
Constiterit pedibus die ubi Christophorus? 

Now that I once more approach the riddle of 
suggestion after having kept away from it for some 
thirty years, I find there is no change in the situation. 
To this statement I can discover only a single ex- 
ception, which I need not mention, since it is one 
which bears witness to the influence of psycho-analysis. 
I notice that particular efforts are being made to 
formulate the concept of suggestion correctly, that 
is, to fix the conventional use of the name.^ And this 

* Konrad Richter: 'Der deutsche S. Christoph.' Berlin, 
1896, Acta Germanic a, V, i. 

^[Literally: * Christopher bore Christ; Christ bore the whole 
world; Say, where did Christopher then put his foot?'] 

' Thus, McDougall: *A Note on Suggestion.' Journal of 
Neurology and Fsy chop aihology, 1920, Vol. I, No. i. 

Suggestion and Libido 37 

is by no means superfluous, for the word is acquiring 
a more and more extended use and a looser and 
looser meaning, and will soon come to designate 
any sort ot influence whatever, just as in English, 
where ' to suggest ' and ' suggestion ' correspond to 
our nahelegen and Anregung. But there has been no 
explanation of the nature of suggestion, that is, of 
the conditions under which influence without adequate 
logical foundation takes place. I should not avoid 
the task of supporting this statement by an analysis of 
the literature of the last thirty years, if I were not 
aware that an exhaustive inquiry is being undertaken 
close at hand which has in view the fulfilment of this 
very task. 

Instead of this I shall make an attempt at using 
the concept of libido for the purpose of throwing 
light upon Group Psychology, a concept which has 
done us such good service in the study of psycho- 

Libido is an expression taken from the theory 
of the emotions. We call by that name the energy I 
(regarded as a quantitative magnitude, though not 
at present actually mensurable) of those instincts 
which have to do with all that may be comprised 
under the word Move'. The nucleus of what we 
mean by love naturally consists (and this is what is 
commonly called love, and what the poets sing of) 
in sexual love with sexual union as its aim. But we 

38 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

do not separate from this — what in any case has a 
share in the name * love ' — on the one hand, self-love, 
and on the other, love for parents and children, 
friendship and love for humanity in general, and also 
devotion to concrete objects and to abstract ideas. 
Our justification lies in the fact that psycho-analytic 
research has taught us that all these tendencies are 
an expression of the same instinctive activities; in 
relations between the sexes these instincts force their 
way towards sexual union ^ but in other circumstances 
they are diverted from this aim or are prevented 
from reaching it, though always preserving enough 
of their original nature to keep their identity recog- 
nizable (as in such features as the longing for 
proximity, and self-sacrifice). 

We are of opinion, then, that language has carried 
out an entirely justifiable piece of unification in 
creating the word ^ love ' with its numerous uses, and 
that we cannot do better than take it as the basis 
of our scientific discussions and expositions as well. 
By coming to this decision, psycho-analysis has let 
loose a storm of indignation, as though it had been 
guilty of an act of outrageous innovation. Yet psycho- 
analysis has done nothing original in taking love in 
this * wider ' sense. In its origin, function, and relation 
to sexual love, the ^ Eros' of the philosopher Plato 
coincides exactly with the love force, the libido, of 
psycho-analysis, as has been shown in detail by 

Suggestion and Libido 39 

Nachmansohn and Pfister;^ and when the apostle Paul, 
in his famous epistle to the Corinthians, prizes love 
above all else, he certainly understands it in the same 
' wider ' sense.^ But this only shows that men do 
not alw^ays take their great thinkers seriously, even 
when they profess most to admire them. 

Psycho-analysis, then, gives these love instincts 
the name of sexual instincts, a potiori and by reason 
of their origin. The majority of ' educated ' people 
have regarded this nomenclature as an insult, and 
have taken their revenge by retorting upon ps3^cho- 
analysis with the reproach of ^ pan-sexualism'. Anyone 
who considers sex as something mortifying and hu- 
miliating to human nature is at liberty to make use 
of the more genteel expressions 'Eros' and * erotic'. 
1 might have done so myself from the first and thus 
have spared myself much opposition. But I did not 
want to, for I like to avoid concessions to faint- 
heartedness. One can never tell where that road may 
lead one; one gives way first in words, and then little 
by little in substance too. I cannot see any merit in 
being ashamed of sex; the Greek word * Eros', 

^ Nachmansohn: *Freuds Libidotheorie verglichen mit der 
Eroslehre Platos'. Internationale Zeitschrift fiir Psychoanalyse, 
191 5, Bd. in; Pfister: 'Plato als Vorlaufer der Psychoanalyse', 
ibid., 192 1, Bd. VII. ['Plato: a Fore-Runner of Psycho-Analysis'. 
International Journal of Psycho- Analysis, 1922, Vol. III.] 

^ 'Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and 
have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.' 

40 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

which is to soften the affront, is in the end nothing 
more than a translation of our German word Liebe 
[love]; and finally, he whq knows how to wait need 
make no concessions. 

We will try our fortune, then, with the sup- 
position that love relationships (or, to use a more 
neutral expression, emotional ties) also constitute the 
essence of the group mind. Let us remember that 
the authorities make no mention of any such relations. 
What would correspond to them is evidently con- 
cealed behind the shelter, the screen, of suggestion. 
Our hypothesis finds support in the first instance 
from two passing thoughts. First, that a group is 
clearly held together by a power of some kind: and 
to what power could this feat be better ascribed 
than to Eros, who holds together everything in the 
world? Secondly, that if an individual gives up his 
distinctiveness in a group and lets its other members 
influence him by suggestion, it gives one the im- 
pression that he does it because he feels the need 
of being in harmony ^ith them rather than in op- 
position to them — so that perhaps after all he does 
it ^ihnen zu Liebe'} 

^ [An idiom meaning *for their sake'. Literally: *for lore 
of them'. — Translator.] 




We may recall from what we know of the 
morphology of groups that it is possible to distinguish 
very different kinds of groups and opposing lines in 
their development. There are very fleeting groups 
and extremely lasting ones; homogeneous ones, made 
up of the same sorts of individuals, and unhomoge- 
neous ones; natural groups, apd artificial ones, requiring 
an external force to keep them together; primitive 
groups, and highly organised ones with a definite 
structure. But for reasons which have yet to be 
explained we should like to lay particular stress upon 
a distinction to v/hich the authorities have rather 
given too little attention; I refer to that between 
leaderless groups and those with leaders. And, in 
complete opposition to the usual practice, we shall 
not choose a relatively simple group formation as 
our point of departure, but shall begin with highly 
organised, lasting and artificial groups. The most 

42 Group Psychology and the A^ialysis of the Ego 

interesting example of such structures are churches — 
communities of believers — and armies. 

A church and an army are artificial groups, that 
is, a certain external force is employed to prevent 
them from disintegrating and to check alterations in 
their structure. As a rule a person is not consulted, 
or is given no choice, as to whether he wants to 
enter such a group; any attempt at leaving it is 
usualty met with persecution or wdth severe punish- 
ment, or has quite definite conditions attached to it. 
It is quite outside our present interest to enquire 
why these associations need such special safeguards. 
We are only attracted by one circumstance, namely 
that certain facts, which are far more concealed in 
other cases, can be observed very clearly in those 
highly organised groups which are protected from 
dissolution in the manner that has been mentioned. 

In a church (and we may with advantage take 
the Catholic Church as a type) as well as in an 
army, however different the two may be in other 
respects, the same illusion holds good of there being 
a head — in the Catholic Church Christ, in an army 
its Commander-in-Chief — who loves all the individuals 
in the group with an equal _^ Love. Everything 
depends upon this. illusion; if it were to be dropped, 
then both Church and army would dissolve, so far 
as the external force permitted them to. This equal 
love was expressly enunciated by Christ: * Inasmuch 

Two Artificial Groups: the Church and the Army 43 

as ye have done it unto one of the least of these 
my brethren, ye have done it unto me.' He stands 
to the individual members of the group of believers 
in the relation of a kind elder brother; he is their 
father surrogate. All the demands that are made 
upon the individual are derived from this love of 
Christ's. A democratic character runs through 
the Church, for the very reason that before Christ 
everyone is equal, and that everyone' has an equal 
share in his love. It is not without a deep reason 
that the similarity between the Christian communit}'' 
and a family is invoked, and that believers call 
themselves brothers in Christ, that is, brothers 
through the love which Christ has for them. There 
is no doubt that the tie which unites each 
individual with Christ is also the cause of the tie 
which unites them with one another. The like holds ^ 
good of an ai'my. The Commander-in-Chief is a 
father who loves all his soldiers equally, and for that 
reason they are comrades among themselves. The 
army differs structurally from the Church in being 
built up of a series of such groups. Ever}^ captain 
is, as it were, the Commander-in-Chief and the father 
of his company, and so is every non-commissioned 
officer of his section. It is true that a similar 
hierarchy has been constructed in the Church, but it 
does not play the same part in it economically; for 
more knowledge and care about individuals may be 

44 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

attributed to Christ than to a human Commander-in- 

It is to be noticed that in these two artificial 
groups each individual is bound by libidinaP ties on 

^ An objection will justly be raised against this conception 
of the libidinal [see next foot-note] structure of an army on the 
ground that no place has been found in it for such ideas as 
those of one's country, of national glory, etc., which are of such 
importance in holding an army together. The answer is that 
that is a dififerent instance of a group tie, and no longer such a 
simple one; for the examples of great generals, like Caesar, 
Wallenstein, or Napoleon, show that such ideas are not indis- 
pensable to the existence of an army. We shall presently touch 
upon the possibility of a leading idea being substituted for a 
leader and upon the relations between the two. The neglect of 
this libidinal factor in an arrny, even when it is not the Only factor 
operative, seems to be not merely a theoretical omission but 
also a practical danger. Prussian militarism, which was just as 
unpsychological as German science, may have had to suffer the 
consequences of this in the great war. We know that the war 
neuroses which ravaged the German army have been recognized 
as being a protest of the individual against the part he was ex- 
pected to play in the army; and according to the communication 
of E. Simmel [Kriegsneurosen und ^ Psychisches Trauma'. Munich, 
191 8), the hard treatment of the men by their superiors may be 
considered as foremost among the motive forces of the disease. If 
the importance of the libido's claims on this score had been 
better appreciated, the fantastic promises of the American Presi- 
dent's fourteen points would probably not have been believed 
so easily, and the splendid instrument would not have broken in 
the hands of the German leaders. 

^ [Here and elsewhere the German ^hbidinos' is used simply 
as an adjectival derivative from the technical term ^ Libido' \ 

Two Artificial Groups : the Church and the Army 45 

the one hand to the leader (Christ, the Commander- 
in-Chief) and on the other hand to the other 
members of the group. How these two ties are 
related to each other, whether they are of the same 
kind and the same value, and how they are to be 
described psychologically — these questions must be 
reserved for subsequent enquiry. But we shall ven- 
ture even now upon a mild reproach against the 
authorities for not having sufficiently appreciated the 
importance of the leader in the psychology of the 
group, while our own choice of a first object for 
investigation has brought us into a more favourable 
position. It would appear as though we were on 
the right road towards an explanation of the principal 
phenomenon of Group Psychology — the individual's 
lack of freedom in a group. If each individual is 
bound in two directions by such an intense emotional 
tie, we shall find no difficulty in attributing to that 
circumstance the alteration and limitation which have 
been observed in his personality. 

A hint to the same effect, that the essence of 
a group lies in the libidinal ties existing in it, is also 
to be found in the phenomenon of panic, which is 
best studied in military groups. A panic arises if 
a group of that kind becomes disintegrated. Its 

'libidinal' is accordingly introduced in the translation in order 
to avoid the highly-coloured connotation of the English 'libi- 
dinous'. — Translator \ 

46 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

characteristics are that none of the orders given 
by superiors are any longer listened to, and 
that each individual is only solicitous on his own 
account, and without any consideration for the rest. 
The mutual ties have ceased to exist, and a gigantic 
and senseless dread [Angst] is set free. At this 
point, again, the objection will naturally be made 
that it is rather the other way round; and that the 
dread has grown so great as to be able to disregard 
all ties and all feelings of consideration for others. 
McDougall has even (p. 24) made use of the case 
of panic (though not of military panic) as a typical 
instance of that intensification of emotion by con- 
tagion ('primary induction') upon which he lays so 
much emphasis. But nevertheless this rational method 
of explanation is here quite inadequate. The ver\^ 
question that needs explanation is why the dread has 
become so gigantic. The greatness of the danger 
cannot be responsible, for the same army which now 
falls a victim to panic may previously have faced 
equally great or greater danger with complete 
success; it is of the very essence of panic that it 
bears no relation to the danger that threatens, and 
often breaks out upon the most trivial occasions. 
If an individual in panic dread begins to be solicitous 
/only on his own account, he bears witness in so 
doing to the fact that the emotional ties, which have 
hitherto made the danger seem small to him, have 

Two Artificial Groups: the Church and the Army 47 

ceased to exist. Now that he is by himself in facing 
the danger, he may surely think it greater. The fact 
is, therefore,, that panic dread presupposes a relaxation 
in the libidinal structure of the group and reacts to 
it in a justifiable manner, and the contrary view — 
that the libidinal ties of the group are destroyed 
owing to dread in the face of the danger — can be 

The contention that dread in a group is increas- 
ed to enormous proportions by means of induction 
(contagion) is not in the least contradicted by these 
remarks. McDougall's view meets the case entirely 
when the danger is a really great one and when the 
group has no strong emotional ties — conditions which 
are fulfilled, for instance, when a fire breaks out in a 
theatre or a place of amusement. But the really 
instructive case and the one which can be best em- 
ployed for our purposes is that mentioned above, in 
which a body of troops breaks into a panic although 
the danger has not increased beyond a degree that 
is usual and has often been previously faced. It is 
not to be expected that the usage of the word 
* panic ' should be clearly and unambiguously deter- 
mined. Sometimes it is used to describe any collec- 
tive dread, sometimes even dread in an individual 
when it exceeds all bounds, and often the name 
seems to be reserved for cases in which the outbreak 
of dread is not warranted by the occasion. If we 

48 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

take the word ' panic ' in the sense of collective 
dread, we can establish a far-reaching analogy. 
Dread in an individual is provoked either by the 
greatness of a danger or by the cessation of emo- 
tional ties (libidinal cathexes^ \Libidobesetzungen\)\ the 
latter is the case of neurotic dread.^ In just the 
same way panic arises either owing to an increase 
of the common danger or owing to the disappearance 
of the emotional ties which hold the group together; 
and the latter case is analogous to that of neurotic 

^ ['Cathexis', from the Greek 'Katexco', 'I occupy'. The 
German word ^Besetzung' has become of fundamental importance 
in the exposition of psycho-analytical theory. Any attempt at a short 
definition or description is likely to be misleading, but speaking 
very loosely, we may say that 'cathexis' is used on the analogy 
of an electric charge, and that it means the concentration or 
accumulation of mental energy in some particular channel. Thus, 
when we speak of the existence in someone of a libidinal cathexis 
of an object, or, more shortly, of an object-cathexis, we mean 
that his libidinal energy is directed towards, or rather infused 
into, the idea {Vorstellung) of some object in the outer world. 
Readers who desire to obtain a more precise knowledge of the 
term are referred to the discussions in 'Zur Einfuhrung des 
Narzissmus * and the essays on metapsychology in Kleine Schriften 
zur Neurosenlekre, Vierte Folge. — Translator.^ 

^ See Vorlesungen zur Einfuhrung in die Psychoanalyse. 
XXV, 3. Auflage, 1920. {Introductory Lectures on Psycho- Analysis. 
Lecture XXV. George Allen and Unwin, 1922.] 

^ Compare Bela v. Felszeghy's interesting though somewhat 
fantastic paper 'Panik und Pankomplex'. Imago, 1920, Bd. VI. 

Two Artificial Groups: the Church and the Army 49 

Anyone who, like McDougall (1. c), describes 
a panic as one of the plainest functions of the 
' group mind ' , arrives at the paradoxical position that 
this group mind does away with itself in one of its 
most striking manifestations. It is impossible to 
doubt that panic means the disintegration of a group; 
it involves the cessation of all the feelings of con- 
sideration which the members of the group otherwise 
show one another. 

The typical occasion of the outbreak of a panic 
is very much as it is represented in Nestroy's parody 
of Hebbel's play about Judith and Holofernes. A 
soldier cries aut : ' The general has lost his head ! ' 
and thereupon all the Assyrians take to flight. The 
loss of the leader in some sense or other, the birth 
of misgivings about him, brings on the outbreak of 
panic, though the danger remains the same; the 
mutual ties between the members of the group dis- 
appear, as a rule, at the same time as the tie with 
their leader. The group vanishes in dust, like a 
Bologna flask when its top is broken off. 

The dissolution of a religious group is not so 
easy to observe. A short time ago there came into 
my hands an English novel of Catholic origin, recom- 
mended by the Bishop of London, with the title 
When It Was Dark, It gave a clever and, as it 
seems to me, a convincing picture of such a possi- 
bility and its consequences. The novel, which is 

50 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

supposed to relate to the present day, tells how a 
conspiracy of enemies of the figure of Christ and of 
the Christian faith succeed in arranging for a 
sepulchre to be discovered in Jerusalem. In this 
sepulchre is an inscription, in which Joseph of Ari- 
mathaea confesses that for reasons of piety he 
secretly removed the body of Christ from its ^rave 
on the third day after its entombment and buried it 
in this spot. The resurrection of Christ and his 
divine nature are by this means disposed of, and the 
result of this archaeological discovery is a convulsion 
in European civilisation and an extraordinary increase 
in all crimes and acts of violence, which only ceases 
when the forgers' plot has been revealed. 

The phenomenon which accompanies the disso- 
lution that is here supposed to overtake a religious 
group is not dread, for which the occasion is wanting. 
Instead of it ruthless and hostile impulses towards 
other people make their appearance, which, owing to 
the equal love of Christ, they had previously been 
unable to do.^ But even during the kingdom of 
Christ those people who do not belong to the com- 
munity of believers, who do not love him, and whom 
he does not love, stand outside this tie. Therefore 

* Compare the explanation of similar phenomena after the 
abolition of the paternal authority of the sovereign given in 
P. Federn's Die vaterlose Gesellschaft. Vienna, Anzengruber- 
Verlag, 1919. 

Two Artificial Groups : the Church and the Army 5 I 

a religion, even if it calls itself the religion of love, 
must be hard and unloving to those who do not 
belong to it. Fundamentally indeed every religion is 
in this same way a religion of love for all those 
whom it embraces; while cruelty and intolerance 
towards those who do not belong to it are natural 
to every religion. However difficult we may find it 
personally, we ought not to reproach believers too 
severely on this account; people who are unbelieving 
or indifferent are so much better off psychologically 
in this respect. If to-day that intolerance no longer 
shows itself so violent and cruel as in former cen- 
turies, we can scarcely conclude that there has been 
a softening in human manners. The cause is rather \ 
to be found in the undeniable weakening of religious / 
feelings and the libidinal ties which depend upon 
them. If another group tie takes the place of the 
/religious one — and the socialistic tie seems to be 
succeeding in doing so — , then there will be the 
same intolerance towards outsiders as in the age of 
the Wars of Religion; and if differences between 
scientific opinions could ever attain a similsir signifi- 
cance for groups, the same result would again be 
repeated with this new motivation. 





We have hitherto considered two artificial groups 
and have found that they are dominated by two 
emotional ties. One of these, the tie with the leader, 
seems (at all events for these cases) to be more of 
a ruling factor than the other, which holds between 
the members of the group. 

Now much else remains to be examined and 
described in the morphology of groups. We should 
have to start from the ascertained fact that a mere 
collection of people is not a group, so long as these 
ties have not been established in it; but we should 
have to admit that in any collection of people the 
tendency to form a psychological group may very 
easily become prominent. We should have to give 
our attention to the different kinds of groups, more 
or less stable, that arise spontaneously, and to study 
the conditions of their origin and of their dissolution. 
We should above all be concerned with the distinction 

Fu7'ther Problems and Lines of Work 53 

between groups which have a leader and leaderless 
groups. We should consider whether groups with 
leaders may not be the more primitive and complete, 
whether in the others an idea, an abstraction, may 
not be substituted for the leader (a state of things 
to which religious groups, with their invisible head, 
form a transition stage), and whether a common ten- 
dency, a wish in which a number of people can have 
a share, may not in the same way serve as a 
substitute. This abstraction, again, might be more 
or less completely embodied in the figure of what 
we might call a secondary leader, and interesting 
varieties w^ould arise from the relation between the 
idea and the leader. The leader or the leading idea 
might also, so to speak, be negative; hatred against 
a particular person or institution might operate in 
just the same unifying way, and might call up the 
same kind of emotional ties as positive attachment. 
Then the question would also arise whether a leader 
is really indispensable to the essence of a group — 
and other questions besides. 

But all these questions, which may, moreover, 
have been dealt w^ith in part in the literature of 
Group Psychology, will not succeed in diverting our 
interest from the fundamental psychological problems 
that confront us in the structure of a group. And 
our attention will first be attracted by a consideration 
which promises to bring us in the most direct way 

54 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

^to a proof that libidinal ties are what characterize 
/ a group. 

j Let us keep before our eyes the nature of the 

/ emotional relations which hold between men in general. 

According to Schopenhauer's famous simile of the 

freezing porcupines no one can tolerate a too intimate 

approach to his neighbour.^ 

The evidence of psycho-analysis shows that almost 
every intimate emotional relation bets^^een two people 
which lasts for some time — marriage, friendship, the 
relations between parents and children^ — leaves a 
sediment of feelings of aversion and hostility, which 
have first to be eliminated by repression. This is 
less disguised in the common wrangles between 
business partners or in the grumbles of a subordinate 

* *A company of porcu'^ines crowded themselves very 
close together one cold winter's day so as to profit by one 
another's warmth and so save themselves from being frozen to 
death. But scon they felt one another's quills, which induced 
them to separate again. And now, when the need for. warmth 
brought them nearer together again, the second evil arose once 
more. So that they were driven backwards and forwards from 
one trouble to the other, until they had discovered a mean 
distance at which they could most tolerably exist' {Parerga und 
Paralipomena, II. Teil, XXXI., 'Gleichnisse und Parabeln'.) 

^ Perhaps with the solitary exception of the relation of a 
mother to her son, which is based upon narcissism, is not j 
disturbed by subsequent rivalry, and is reinforced by a rudimentary 
attempt at sexual object-choice. 

Further Problems and Lines of Work 55 

at his superior. The same thing happens when men 
come together in larger units. Every time two 
families become connected by a marriage, each of 
them thinks itself superior to or of better birth 
than the other. Of two neighbouring towns each 
is the other's most jealous rival; every little canton 
looks down upon the others with contempt. Closely 
related races keep one another at arm's length; 
the South German cannot endure the North German, 
the Englishman casts every kind of aspersion upon 
the Scotchman, the Spaniard despises the Portuguese. 
We are no longer astonished that greater differences 
should lead to an almost insuperable repugnance, 
such as the Gallic people feel for the German, the 
Aryan for the Semite, and the white races for the 

When this hostility is directed against people 1 
who are otherwise loved we describe it as ambivalence/ 
of feeling; and we explain the fact, in what is 
probably far too rational a manner, by means of the 
numerous occasions for conflicts of interest which 
arise precisely in such intimate relations. In the 
undisguised antipathies and aversions which people 
feel towards strangers with whom they have to do 
we may recognize the expression of self-love— of 
narcissism. This self-love works for the self-assertion 
of the individual, and behaves as though the occur- s 
rence of any divergence from his own particular 


56 Group Psychology mid the Analysis of the Ego 

lines of development involved a criticism of them 
and a demand for their alteration. We do not know 
why such sensitiveness should have been directed to 
just these details of differentiation; but it is unmis- 
takable that in this whole connection men give 
evidence of a readiness for hatred, an aggressiveness, 
the source of which is unknown, and to which one 
is tempted to ascribe an elementary character.^ 

But the whole of this intolerance vanishes, tem- 
porarily or permanently, as the result of the formation 
of a group, and in a group. So long as a group 
formation persists or so far as it extends, individuals 
behave as though tliey were uniform, tolerate other 
people's peculiarities, put themselves on an equal level 
with them, and have no feeling of aversion towards 
them. Such a limitation of narcissism can, according 
to our theoretical views, only be produced by one 
factor, a libidinal tie with other people. Love for 
oneself knows only one barrier — love for others, love 
for objects.^ The question will at once be raised 

* In a recently published study, Jenseits des Lustprinzips 
(1920) [Beyond the Pie astir e Principle, International Psycho- 
Analytical Library, No. 4], I have attempted to connect the 
polarity of love and hatred with a hypothetical opposition between 
instincts of life and death, and to establish the sexual instincts 
as the purest examples of the former, the instincts of life. 

^See *Zur Einfuhrung des Narzissmus', 19 14. Kleine Schriften 
znr Neurosenlehre, Vierte Folge, 191 8. 

Further Problems and Lines of Work 57 

whether community of interest in itself, without any \ 
addition of libido, must not necessarily lead to the 
toleration of other people and to considerateness for 
them. This objection may be met by the reply that 
nevertheless no lasting limitation of narcissism is 
effected in this way, since this tolerance does not 
persist longer than the immediate advantage gained 
from the other people's collaboration. But the practical 
importance of the discussion is less than might be 
supposed, for experience has shown that in cases of 
collaboration libidinal ties are regularly formed be- 
tween the fellow-workers which prolong and solidify 
the relation between them to a point beyond what 
is merely profitable. The same thing occurs in men's 
social relations as has become familiar to psycho- 
analytic research in the course of the development 
of the individual libido. The libido props itself upon 
the satisfaction of the great vital needs, and chooses as 
its first objects the people who have a share in that 
process. And in the development of mankind as a'l 
whole, just as in individuals, love alone acts as I 
the civilizing factor in the sense that it brings ry 
change from egoism to altruism. And this is true 
both of the sexual love for women, with all the 
obligations which it involves of sparing what wornen 
are fond of, and also of the desexualised, sublimated 
homosexual love for other men, which springs from 
Avork in common. 

5 8 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

If therefore in groups narcissistic self-love is 
subject to limitations which do not operate outside 
them, that is cogent evidence that the essence of a 
group formation consists in a new kind of libidinal 
ties among the members of the group. 

But our interest now leads us on to the pressing 
question as to what may be the nature of these ties 
which exist in groups. In the psycho-analytic study 
of neuroses we have hitherto been occupied almost 
exclusively with ties that unite with their objects those 
love instincts which still pursue directly sexual aims. In 
groups there can evidently be no question of sexual 
aims of that kind. We are concerned here with love 
instincts which have been diverted from their original 
aims, though they do not operate w^ith less energy 
on that account. Now we have already observed 
within the range of the usual sexual object-cathexis 
[Objektbesetzung] phenomena w^hich represent a di- 
version of the instinct from its sexual aim. We 
have described them as degrees of being in love, 
and have recognized that they involve a certain 
encroachment upon the ego. We shall now turn 
our attention more closely to these phenomena of 
being in love, in the firm expectation of finding in 
them conditions which can be transferred to the ties 
that exist in groups. But we should also like to 
know whether this kind of object-cathexis, as we 
know it in sexual life, represents the only manner 

Further Problems and Lines of Work 59 

of emotional tie with other people, or whether we 
must take other mechanisms of the sort into account. 
As a matter of fact we learn from psycho-analysis 
that there do exist other mechanisms for emotional 
ties, the so-called identifications^ insufficiently-known 
processes and hard to describe, the investigation of 
which will for some time keep us away from the 
subject of Group Psychology. 


Identification is known to psycho-analysis as the 
earliest expression of an emotional tie with another 
person. It plays a part in the early history of the 
Oedipus complex. A little boy will exhibit a special 
interest in his father; he would like to grow like him 
and be like him, and take his place everywhere. We 
may say simply that he takes his father as his ideal. 
This behaviour has nothing to do with a passive or 
feminine attitude towards his father (and towards 
males in general); it is on the contrary typically 
masculine. It fits in very well with the Oedipus 
complex, for which it helps to prepare the way. 

At the same time as this identification with his 
father, or a little later, the boy has begun to develop 
a true object-cathexis towards his mother according 
to the anaclitic type \Anlehnungstypus\} He then 

* [Literally, ' leaning-up-against type '; from the Greek* dvaicXCva' ' 
*I lean up against'. In the first phase of their development the 

Identi/ication 6 1 

exhibits, therefore, two psychologically distinct ties: 
a straightforward sexual object-cathexis towards his 
mother and a typical identification towards his father. 
The two subsist side by side for a time without any 
mutual influence or interference. In consequence ol 
the irresistible advance towards a unification of mental 
life they come together at last; and the normal 
Oedipus complex originates from their confluence^ 
The little boy notices that his father stands in his 
way with his mother. His identification with his 
father then takes on a hostile colourincr and becomes 
identical with the wish to replace his father in regard 
to his mother as well. Identification, in fact, is 
ambivcdent from the very first; it can turn into an 
expression of tenderness as easily as into a wish for 
someone's removal. It behaves like a derivative 
the first oral phase of the organisation of the libido, 
in which the object that w^e long for and prize is 
assimilated by eating and is in that way annihilated 
as such. The cannibal, as we know, has remained at 

sexual instincts have no independent means of finding satisfaction; 
they do so by propping themselves upon or Meaning up against' 
the self-preser\'ative instincts. The individual's first choice of a 
sexual object is said to be of the 'anaclitic type' when it follows 
this path; that is, when he choses as his first sexual object the 
same person who has satisfied his early non-sexual needs. For a 
full discussion of the anaclitic and narcissistic types of object- 
choice compare 'Zur Einfuhrung des Narzissmus'. — Translator.'] 

62 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

this standpoint; he has a devouring affection for his 
enemies and only devours people of whom he is 

The subsequent history of this identification with 
the father may easily be lost sight of. It may happen 
that the Oedipus complex becomes inverted, and 
that the father is taken as the object of a feminine 
attitude, an object from which the directly sexual 
instincts look for satisfaction; in that event the identi- 
fication with the father has become the precursor of 
an object tie with the father. The same holds good, 
with the necessary substitutions, of the baby daughter 
as well. 

It is easy to state in a formula the distinction 
between an identification with the father and the 
choice of the father as an object. In the first case 
one's father is what one would like to be^ and in the 
second he is what one would like to have. The 
distinction, that is, depends upon whether the tie at- 
taches to the subject or to the object of the ego. 
The former is therefore already possible before any 
sexual object-choice has been made. It is much more 

* See Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie, and Abraham's 
* Untersuchungen iiber die friiheste pragenitale Entwicklungs- 
stufe der Libido', Internationale Zeitschrift fur Psychoanalyse, 
1916, Bd, rV; also included in his Klinische Beitrdge zur Psycho- 
analyse (Internationale psychoanalytische Bibliothek. Nr. 10, 

Identification 63 

difficult to give a clear metapsychological representa- 
tion of the distinction. We can only see that 
identification endeavours to mould a person's own 
ego after the fashion of the one that has been taken 
as a 'model'. 

Let us disentangle identification as it occurs in 
the structure of a neurotic symptom from its rather 
complicated connections. Supposing that a little^ girl 
(and we will keep to her for the present) develops 
the same painful symptom as her mother — for instance, 
the same tormenting cough. Now this may come 
about in various ways. The identification may come 
from the Oedipus complex; in that case it signifies 
a hostile desire on the girl's part to take her 
mother's place, and the symptom expresses her 
object love tow^ards her father, and brings about 
a realisation, under the influence of a sense of 
guilt, of her desire to take her mother's place: 
^ You wanted to be your mother, and now you 
are — anyhow as far as the pain goes'. This is 
the complete mechanism of the structure of a 
hysterical symptom. Or, on the other hand, the 
symptom may be the same as that of the person 
who is loved — (so, for instance, Dora in the 
' Bruchstiick einer Hysterieanalyse'^ imitated her 
father's cough); in that case we can only describe 

* \Kleine Schriften zur Neurosenlehre. Zweite Folge.] 

64 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

^.the state of things by saying that identification has 
<^ appeared instead of object-choice , and that object- 
'hoice has regressed to identification. We have heard 
that identification is the earliest and original form of 
emotional tie; it often happens that under the con- 
ditions in which symptoms are constructed, that is, 
where there is repression and where the mechanisms 
of the unconscious are dominant, object-choice is 
turned back into identification — the ego, that is, as- 
sumes the characteristics of the object. It is noticeable 
that in these identifications the ego sometimes copies 
the person who is not loved and sometimes the one 
who is loved. It must also strike us that in both 
cases the identification is a partial and extremely 
limited one and only borrows a single trait from the 
person who is its object. 

There is a third particularly frequent and im- 
portant case of symptom formation, in which the 
identification leaves any object relation to the person 
who is being copied entirely out of account. Sup- 
posing, for instance, that one of the girls in a boarding 
school has had a letter from someone with whom she 
is secretly in love which arouses her jealousy, and 
that she reacts to it with a fit of hysterics; then 
some of her friends who know about it will contract 
the fit, as we say, by means of mental infection. 
The mechanism is that of identification based upon 
the possibility or desire of putting oneself in the same 

Identification 65 

situation. The other girls would like to have a secret 
love affair too, and under the influence of a sense of 
guilt they also accept the pain involved in it. It 
would be wrong to suppose that they take on the 
symptom out of sympathy. On the contrary, the\ 
sympathy only arises out of the identification, and 
this is proved by the fact that infection or imitation 
of this kind takes place in circumstances where even 
less pre-existing sympathy is to be assumed than 
usually exists between friends in a girls' school. One 
ego has perceived a significant analogy with another 
upon one point — in our example upon a similar 
readiness for emotion; an identification is thereupon 
constructed on this point, and, under the influence 
of the pathogenic situation, is displaced on to the 
symptom which the one ego has produced. The 
identification by means of the symptom has thus 
become the mark of a point of coincidence between 
the tv\^o egos which has to be kept repressed. 

What we have learned from these three sources 
may be summarised as follows. First, identification 
is the original form of emotional tie with an object; 
secondly, in a regressive way it- becomes a substitute 
for a libidinal object tie, as it were by means of the 
introjection of the object into the ego; and thirdly, 
it may arise with every new perception of a common 
quality shared with some other person who is not an 
object of the sexual instinct. The more important 

66 Group Psychology a7td the Analysis of the Ego 

this common quality is, the more successful may this 
partial identification become, and it may thus repre- 
sent the beginning of a new tie. 

We already begin to divine that the mutual tie 
between members of a group is in the nature of an 
identification of this kind, based upon an important 
emotional common quality; and we may suspect that 
this common quality lies in the nature of the tie with 
the leader. Another suspicion may tell us that we 
are far from having exhausted the problem of identi- 
fication, and that we are faced by the process which 
psychology calls ^ empathy \Einfuhlung\ ' and which 
plays the largest part in our understanding of what 
is inherently foreign to our ego in other people. But 
we shall here limit ourselves to the immediate emo- 
tional effects of identification, and shall leave on one 
side its significance for our intellectual life. 

Psycho-analytic research, which has already 
occasionally attacked the more difficult problems of 
the psychoses, has also been able to exhibit iden- 
tification to us in some other cases which are not 
immediately comprehensible. I shall treat two of 
these cases in detail as material for our further 

The genesis of male homosexuality in a large 
class of cases is as follows. A young man has 
been unusually ~ long and intensely fixated upon his 
mother in the sense of the Oedipus complex. But 

Identification 67 

at last, after the end of his puberty, the time comes 
for exchanging his mother for some other sexual 
object. Things take a sudden turn: the young man 
does not abandon his mother, but identifies himself 
with her; he transforms himself into her, and now 
looks about for objects which can replace his ego 
for him, and on which he can bestow such love and 
care as he has experienced from his mother. This is 
a frequent process, which can be confirmed as often 
as one likes, and which is naturally quite independent 
of any hypothesis that may be made as to the or- 
ganic driving force and the motives of the sudden 
transformation. A striking thing about ^ this identific- \ 
ation is its ample scale; it remoulds the ego in one j 
of its important features — in its sexual character — / 
upon the model of w^hat has hitherto been the object. 
In this process the object » itself is renounced — whether 
entirely or in the sense of being preserved only in 
the unconscious is a question outside the present 
discussion. Identification with an object that is re- 
nounced or lost as a substitute for it, introjection of 
this object into the ego, is indeed no longer a novelty 
to us. A process of the kind may sometimes be 
directly observed in small children. A short time 
ago an observation of this sort was published in the 
Internationale Zeitschrift fiir Psychoanalyse. A child 
\vho was unhappy over the loss of a kitten declared 
straight out that now he himself was the kitten, and 

68 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

accordingly crawled about on all fours, would not eat 
at table, etc.^ 

/ Another such instance of introjection of the 
object has been provided by the analysis of melan- 
cholia, an affection which counts among the most 
remarkable of its exciting causes the real or emotio- 
nal loss of a loved object. A leading characteristic 
of these cases is a cruel self-depreciation of the ego 
combined with relentless self-criticism and bitter self- 
reproaches. Analyses have shown that this disparage- 
ment and these reproaches apply at bottom to the 
object and represent the ego's revenge upon it. The 
shadow of the object has fallen upon the ego, as I have 
said elsewhere.^ The introjection of the object is here 
unmistakably clear. 

But these melancholias also show us something 
else, which may be of importance for our later dis- 
cussions. They show us the ego divided, fallen into 
two pieces, one of which rages against the second. 
This second piece is the one which has been altered 
by introjection and which contains the lost object. 
But the piece which behaves so cruelly is not un- 
known to us either. It comprises the conscience, a 

* Marcuszewicz : ' Beitrag zum autistischen Denken bei 
Kindern.' Internationale Zeiischrift fur Psychoanalyse, 1920, 
Bd. VI. 

^ ['Trauer und Melancholic' Kleine Schrifien zur Neurosen- 
lekre, Vierte Folge, 191 8.] 

Identification 69 

critical faculty \histanzY vi\\}c{\x\ the ego, which even 
in normal times takes up a critical attitude towards 
the ego, though never so relentlessly and so unjusti- 
fiably. On previous occasions we have been driven to 
the hypothesis^ that some such faculty develops in 
our ego which may cut itself off from the rest of 
the ego and come into conflict with it. We have 
called it the ' ego ideal ' , and by way of functions 
we have ascribed to it self-observation, the moral 
conscience, the censorship of dreams, and the chief 
influence in repression. We have said that it is the 
heir to the original narcissism in which the childish 
ego found its self-sufficiency; it gradually gathers up 
from the influences of the environment the demands 
which that environment makes upon the ego and 
which the ego cannot always rise to; so that a man, 
when he cannot be satisfied with his ego itself, may 
nevertheless be able to find satisfaction in the ego 
ideal which has been differentiated out of the ego. 
In delusions of observation, as we have further shown, 
the disintegration of this faculty has become patent, 
and has thus revealed its origin in the influence of 

* \^Instanz* — like * instance' in the phrase 'court of first 
instance' — was originally a legal term. It is now used in the sense 
of one of a hierarchy of authorities or functions. — Translator.] 

^ 'Zur Einfiihrung des Narzissmus', 'Trauer und Melan- 



/O Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

superior powers, and above all of parents/ But we 
have not forgotten to add that the amount of distance 
between this ego ideal and the real ego is very vari- 
able from one individual to another, and that with 
many people this differentiation within the ego does 
not go further than with children. 

But before we can employ this material for 
understanding the libidinal organisation of groups, we 
must take into account some other examples of the 
mutual relations between the object and the ego.^ 

* *Zur Einfiihrung des Narzissmus.' 

^ We ?ire very well aware that we have not exhausted the 
nature of identification with these examples taken from pathology, 
and that we have consequently left part of the riddle of group 
formations untouched. A far more fundamental and comprehen- 
sive psychological analysis would have to intervene at this point. 
A path leads from identification by way of imitation to empathy, 
that is, to the comprehension of the mechanism by means of 
which we are enabled to take up any attitude at all towards 
another mental life. Moreover there is still much to be explained 
in the manifestations of existing identifications. These result among 
other things in a person limiting his aggressiveness towards those 
with whom he has identified himself, and in his sparing them 
and giving them help. The study of such identifications, like 
those, for instance, which lie at the root of clan feeling, led 
Robertson Smith to the surprising result that they rest upon the 
recognition of a common substance {Kinship and Marriage, 1885), 
and may even therefore be brought about by a meal eaten in 
common. This feature makes it possible to connect this kind of 
identification with the early history of the human family which I 
constructed in Totem iind Tabu. 


Even in its caprices the usage of language remains 
true to some kind of realit3'\ Thus it gives the 
name of * love ' to a great many kinds of emotional 
relationship which we too group together theoretically 
as love; but then again it feels a doubt whether 
this love is real, true, actual love, and so hints at 
a whole scale of possibilities within the range of the 
phenomena of love. We shall have no difficulty in 
making the same discovery empirically. 

In one class of cases being in love is nothing 
more than object-cathexis on the part of the sexual 
instincts with a view to directly sexual satisfaction, a 
cathexis which expires, moreover, when this aim has 
been reached; this is what is called common, sensual 
love. But, as we know, the libidinal situation rarely 
remains so simple. It was possible to calculate with 
certainty upon the revival of the need which had just 
expired; and this must no doubt have been the first 

'J2 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

motive for directing a lasting cathexis upon the sexual 
object and for * loving ' it in the passionless intervals 
as well. 

To this must be added another factor derived 
from the astonishing course of development which is 
pursued by the erotic life of man. In his first phase, 
which has usually come to an end by the time he is 
five years old, a child has found the first object for 
his love in one or other of his parents, and all of 
his sexual instincts with their demand for satisfaction 
have been united upon this object. The repression 
which then sets in compels him to renounce the 
greater number of these infantile sexual aims, and 
leaves behind a profound modification in his relation 
to his parents. The child still remains tied to 
his parents, but by instincts which must be de- 
scribed as being 'inhibited in their aim \zielgehemmte\\ 
The emotions which he feels henceforward towards 
these objects of his love are characterized as 'tender'. 
It is well known that the earlier ' sensual ' tendencies 
remain more or less strongly preserved in the un- 
conscious, so that in a certain sense the whole of the 
original current continues to exist. ^ 

At puberty, as we know, there set in new and 
very strong tendencies with directly sexual aims. In 
unfavourable cases they remain separate, in the form 

* Cf. Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie, I.e. 

Being in Love and Hypnosis 73 

of a sensual current, from the * tender* emotional 
trends which persist. We are then faced by a picture 
the two aspects of which certain movements in 
literature take such delight in idealising. A man of 
this kind will show a sentimental enthusiasm for 
women whom he deeply respects but who do not 
excite him to sexual activities, and he will only be 
potent with other women whom he does not ' love * 
but thinks little of or even despises.^ More often, 
however, the adolescent succeeds in bringing about 
a certain degree of synthesis between the unsensual, 
heavenly love and the sensual, earthly love, and his 
relation to his sexual object is characterised by the 
interaction of uninhibited instincts and of instincts 
inhibited in their aim. The depth to which anyone 
is in love, as contrasted with his purely sensual 
desire, may be measured by the size of the share 
taken by the inhibited instincts of tendem*ess. 

In connection with this question of being in love we 
have always been struck by the phenomenon of sexual 
over-estimation — the fact that the loved object enjoys 
a certain amount of freedom from criticism, and that 
all its characteristics are valued more highly than those 
of people who are not loved, or than its own were 
at a time when it itself was not loved. If the sensual 

* *Uber die allgemeinste Emiedrigung des Liebeslebens. ' 
Kleine Schriften zur Neurosenlehre, Vierte Folge, 19 1 8. 


74 Group Psychology and the Autolysis of the Ego 

tendencies are somewhat more effectively repressed 
or set aside, the illusion is produced that the object 
has come to be sensually loved on account of its 
spiritual merits, whereas on the contrary these merits 
may really only have been lent to it by its sensual 

The tendency which falsifies judgement in this 
respect is that of idealisation. But this makes it 
easier for us to find our way about. We see that 
the object is being treated in the same way as our 
own ego, so that when we are in love a considerable 
'amount of narcissistic libido overflows on to the object. 
It is even obvious, in many forms of love choice, that 
the object serves as a substitute for some unattained 
ego ideal of our own. We love it on account of the 
perfections which we have striven to reach for our 
own ego, and which we should now like to procure 
in this roundabout way as a means of satisfying our 

If the sexual over-estimation and the being in 
love increase even further, then the interpretation of 
the picture becomes still more unmistakable. The 
tendencies whose trend is tovv-ards directly sexual 
satisfaction may now be pushed back entirely, as 
regularly happens, for instance, with the young man's 
sentimental passion; the ego becomes more and more 
unassuming and modest, and the object more and more 
sublime and precious, until at last it gets possession 

Being in Love and Hypnosis 

of the entire self-love of the ego, whose self-sacrifice 
thus follows as a natural consequence. The object 
has, so to speak, consumed the ego. Traits of 
humility, of the limitation of narcissism, and of self- 
injury occur in every case of being in love; in the 
extreme case they are only intensified, and as a 
result of the withdrawal of the sensual claims they 
remain in solitary supremacy. 

This happens especially easily with love that is 
unhappy and cannot be satisfied; for in spite of 
ever}^thing each sexual satisfaction ahvays involves a 
reduction in sexual over-estimation. Contemporaneously 
with this 'devotion' of the ego to the object, w^hich 
is no longer to be distinguished from a sublimated 
devotion to an abstract idea, the functions allotted to 
the ego ideal entirely cease to operate. The criticism 
exercised by that faculty is silent; everything that the 
object does and asks for is right and blameless. 
Conscience has no application to anything that is done 
for the sake of the object; in the blindness of love 
remorselessness is carried to the pitch of crime. The 
whole situation can be completely summarised in a \i 
formula: The object has taken the place of the ego / 
ideal, J' 

It is now easy to define the distinction between 
identification and such extreme developments of being 
in love as may be described as fascination or infatua- 
tion. In the former case the ego has enriched itself 

'j^ Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

with the properties of the object, it has * introjected ' 
the object into itself, as Ferenczi expresses it. In the 
second case it is impoverished, it has surrendered itself 
to the object, it has substituted the object for its most 
important constituent. Closer consideration soon makes 
it plain, however, that this kind of account creates 
an illusion of contradistinctions that have no real 
existence. Economically there is no question of impov- 
erishment or enrichment; it is even possible to 
describe an extreme case of being in love as a state 
in which the ego has introjected the object into itself. 
Another distinction is perhaps better calculated to 
meet the essence of the matter. In the case of 
identification the object has been lost or given up; 
it is then set up again inside the ego, and the ego 
makes a partial alteration in itself after the model of 
the lost object. In the other case the object is 
retained, and there is a hyper-cathexis of it by the 
ego and at the ego's expense. But here again a 
difficulty presents itself. Is it quite certain that iden- 
tification presupposes that object-cathexis has been 
given up? Can there be no identification with the 
object retained? And before we embark upon a dis- 
cussion of this delicate question, the perception may 
already be beginning to dawn on us that yet another 
alternative embraces the real essence of the matter, 
namely, whether the object is put in the place of the 
ego or of the ego ideal. 

Being in Love a7id Hypnosis yy 

From being in love to hypnosis is evidently 
only a short step. The respects in which the two 
agree are obvious. There is the same humble sub- 
jection, the same compliance, the same absence of 
criticism, towards the hypnotist just as towards the 
loved object. There is the same absorption of one*s 
own initiative; no one can doubt that the hypnotist 
has stepped into the place of the ego ideal. It is 
only that everything is even clearer and more intense 
in hypnosis, so that it would be more to the point 
to explain being in love by means of hypnosis than 
the other way round. The hypnotist is the sole object, 
and no attention is paid to any but him. The fact 
that the ego experiences in a dream-like way whatever 
he may request- or assert reminds us that we omitted 
to mention among the functions of the ego ideal the 
business of testing the reality of things.^ No wonder 
that the ego takes a perception for real if its reality 
is vouched for by the mental faculty which ordinarily 
discharges the duty of testing the reality of things. 
The complete absence of tendencies which are unin- 
hibited in their sexual aims contributes further towards 
the extreme purity of the phenomena. The hypnotic 
relation is the devotion of someone in love to an 
unlimited degree but with sexual satisfaction excluded; 

* Cf. *Metapsychologische Erganzung zur Traumlehre. ' 
Kleine Schrifien zur Neurosenlehre, Vierte Folge, 191 8. 

78 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

whereas in the case of being in love this kind of 
satisfaction is only temporarily kept back, and remains 
in the background as a possible aim at some later time. 

But on the other hand we may also say that 
the hypnotic relation is (if the expression is permis- 
sible) a group formation with two members. Hypnosis 
is not a good object for comparison with a group 
formation, because it is truer to say that it is identi- 
cal with it. Out of the complicated fabric of the 
group it isolates one element for us — the behaviour 
of the individual to the leader. Hypnosis is distin- 
guished from a group formation by this limitation of 
number, just as it is distinguished from being in love 
by the absence of directly sexual tendencies. In this 
respect it occupies a middle position between the two. 

It is interesting to see that it is precisely those 
sexual tendencies that are inhibited in their aims which 
achieve such lasting ties between men. But this can 
easily be understood from the fact that they are not 
capable of complete satisfaction, while sexual tenden- 
cies which are uninhibited in their aims . suffer an 
extraordinary reduction through the discharge of 
energy every time the sexual aim is attained. It is 
the fate of sensual love to become extinguished when 
it is satisfied; for it to be able to last, it must from 
the first be mixed with purely tender components — 
with such, that is, as are inhibited in their aims — or 
it must itself undergo a transformation of this kind. 

Being in Love and Hypnosis 79 

Hypnosis would solve the riddle of the libidinal 
constitution of groups for us straight away, if it were 
not that it itself exhibits some features which are 
not met by the rational explanation we have hitherto 
given of it as a state of being in love with the 
directly sexual tendencies excluded. There is still a 
great deal in it which we must recognise as unex- 
plained and mystical. It contains an additional element 
of paralysis derived from the relation between someone 
with superior power and someone who is without 
powder and helpless — which may afford a transition 
to the hypnosis of terror which occurs in animals. 
The manner in which it is produced and its relation- 
ship to sleep are not clear; and the puzzling way in 
which some people are subject to it, while others 
resist it completely, points to some factor still un- 
known which is realised in it and which perhaps alone 
makes possible the purity^ of the attitudes of the 
libido which it exhibits. It is noticeable that, even 
when there is complete suggestive compliance in other 
respects, the moral conscience of the person hypnotized 
may show resistance. But this may be due to the 
fact that in hypnosis as it is usually practised some 
knowledge may be retained that what is happening 
is only a game, an untrue reproduction of another 
situation of far more importance to life. 

But after the preceding discussions we are quite 
in a position to give the formula for the libidinal 

8o Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

constitution of groups: or at least of such groups as 
we have hitherto considered, namely, those that have 
a leader and have not been able by means of too much 
' organisation ' to acquire secondarily the characteristics 
of an individual. A primary group of this kind is 
a number of individuals who have substituted 07ie and 
the same object for their ego ideal and have conse- 
quently identified themselves with one another in their 
ego. This condition admits of graphic representation: 

Ego Ideal 





We cannot for long enjoy the illusion that we have 
solved the riddle of the group with this formula. It 
is impossible to escape the immediate and disturbing 
recollection that all we have really done has been to 
shift the question on to the riddle of hypnosis, about 
which so many points have yet to be cleared up. And 
now another objection shows us our further path. 

It might be said that the intense emotional ties 
which we observe in groups are quite sufficient to 
explain one of their characteristics — the lack of inde- 
pendence and initiative in their members, the similarity 
in the reactions of all of them, their reduction, so to 
speak, to the level of group individuals. But if we 
look at it as a whole, a group shows us more than 
this. Some of its features — the weakness of intellectual 
ability, the lack of emotional restraint, the incapadty 
for moderation and del ay, the inclination to exceed 
every limit in the expression of emotion and to work 


82 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

it off completely in the form of action — these and similar 
features^ which we find so impressively described in 
Le Bon, show an unmistakable picture of a recession 

, i of mental activity to an earlier jtage such as we are not 
surprised to find among savages or children. A regression 
of this sort is in particular an essential characteristic of 
common groups, while, as we have heard, in organized 
and artifiqial groups it can to a large extent be checked. 
We thus have an impression of a state in which 
an individual's separate emotion and personal intel- 
lectucd act are too weak to come to anything by 
themselves and are absolutely obliged to wait till they 
are reinforced through being repeated in a similar 
way in the other members of the group. We are 
reminded of how many of these phenomena of depen- 
dence are part of the normal constitution of human 
society, of how little originality and personal courage 
are to be found in it, of how much every individual 
is ruled_ by th ose attitu des of the group mind which 
exhibit themselves in such forms as racial character- 
istics, class prejudices, public opinion, etc. The influence 
ot__suggestion becomes a greater riddle for us when 
j we admit that it is not exercised only by the leader, 
but by every individual upon every other individual; 
and we must reproach ourselves with having unfairly 
emphasized the relation to the leader and with having 

\ kept the other factor of mutual suggestion too much 
in the background. 

The Herd Instinct 83 

After this encouragement to modesty, we shall 
be inclined to listen to another voice, which promises 
us an explanation based upon simpler grounds. Such 
a one is to be found in Trotter's thoughtful book 
upon the herd instinct, concerning which my only regret 
is that it does not entirely escape the antipathies that 
were set loose by the recent great war.' 

Trotter derives the mental phenomena that are 
described as occurring in groups from a herd instinct 
{'gregariousness')) which is innate in human beings just 
as in other species of animals. Biologically this gre- 
gariousness is an analogy to multicellularity and as 
it were a continuation of it. From the standpoint of 
the libido theory it is a further manifestation of the 
inclination, which proceeds from the libido, and which 
is felt by all living beings of the same kind, to combine 
in more and more comprehensive units. ^ The individual 
feels * incomplete ' if he is alone. The dread shown 
by small children would seem already to be an ex- 
pression of this herd instinct. Opposition to the herd 
is as good as separation from it, and is therefore 
aii^ously avoided. But the herd turns away from 
anything that is new or unusual. The herd instinct 

^ W. Trotter: Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War. 
Fisher Unwin, 1916. 

See my essay yenseits des Lustprinzipt 

84 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

would appear to be something primary, something 
Svhich cannot be split up'. 

Trotter gives as the list of instincts which he 
considers as primary those of self-preservation, of 
nutrition, of sex, and of the herd. The last often 
comes into opposition with the others. The feelings of 
guilt and of duty are the peculiar possessions of a 
gregarious animal. Trotter also derives from the herd 
instinct the repressive forces which psycho-analysis 
has shown to exist in the ego, and from the same 
source accordingly the resistances which the physician 
comes up against in psycho-analytic treatment. 
Speech owes its importance to its aptitude for mutual 
understanding in the herd, and upon it the identi- 
fication of the individuals with one another largely 

While Le Bon is principally concerned with typical 
transient group formations, and McDougall with stable 
associations, Trotter has chosen as the centre of his 
interest the most generalised form of assemblage in 
which man, that C^cbov jtoXitikov, passes his life, and he 
gives us its psychological basis. But Trotter is under 
no necessity of tracing back the herd instinct, for he 
characterizes it as primary and not further reducible. 
Boris Sidis's attempt, to which he refers, at tracing 
the herd instinct back to suggestibility is fortunately 
superfluous as far as he is concerned; it is an explan- 
ation of a familiar and unsatisfactory type, and the 

The Herd Instinct 85 

converse proposition — that suggestibility is a derivative 
of the herd instinct — would seem to me to throw- 
far more light on the subject. 

But Trotter's exposition, with even more justice 
than the others', is open to the objection that it takes 
too little account of the leader's part in a group, 
while we incline rather to the opposite judgement, 
that it is impossible to grasp the nature of a group if 
the leader is disregarded. The herd instinct leaves no 
room at all for the leader; he is merely thrown in 
along with the herd, almost by chance; it follows, 
too, that no path leads from this instinct to the 
need for a God; the herd is without a herdsman. 
But -besides this Trotter's exposition can be under- 
mined psychologically; that is to say, it can be 
made at all events probable that the herd instinct is 
not irreducible, that it is not primary in the same 
sense as the instinct of self-preservation and the sexual 

It is naturally no easy matter to trace the onto- 
genesis of the herd instinct. The dread w^hich is 
shown by small children when they are left alone, and 
which Trotter claims as being akeady a manifestation 
of the instinct, nevertheless suggests more readily an- 
other interpretation. The dread relates to the child's 
mother, and later to other familiar persons, and it is 
the expression of an unfulfilled desire, which the child 
does not yet know how to deal with in any way 

86 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

except by turning it into dread.^ Nor is the child's dread 
when it is alone pacified by the sight of any haphazard 
* member of the herd ' , but on the contrary it is only 
brought into existence by the approach of a ^ stranger ' 
of this sort. Then for a long time nothing in the nature 
of herd instinct or group feeling is to be observed in 
children. Something like it grows up first of all, in a 
nursery containing many children, out of the children's 
relation to their parents, and it does so as a reaction 
to the initial envy with which the elder child receives 
the younger one. The elder child would certainly 
like to put its successor jealously aside, to keep 
it away from the parents, and to rob it of all its 
privileges; but in face of the fact that this child 
(like all that come later) is loved by the parents in 
just the same w^ay, and in consequence of the impos- 
sibility of maintaining its hostile attitude without 
damaging itself, it is forced into identifying itself with 
the other children. So there grows up in the troop of 
children a communal or group feeling, which is then 
further developed at school. The first demand made 
by this reaction-formation is for justice, for equal 
treatment for all. We all know how loudly and implac- 
ably this claim is put forward at school. If one cannot 
be the favourite oneself, at all events nobody else 

^ See the remarks upon Dread in Vorlesungen zur Ein- 
fnhrung in die Psychoanalyse. XXV. 

The Herd Instinct 87 

shall be the favourite. This transformation — the replac- 
ing of jealousy by a group feeling in the nursery 
and classroom — might be considered improbable, if 
the same process could not later on be observed 
again in other circumstances. We have only to think 
of the troop of women and girls, all of them in love 
in an enthusiastically sentimental way, who crowd 
round a singer or pianist after his performance. It 
would certainly be easy for each of them to be jealous 
of the rest; but, in face of their numbers and the 
consequent impossibility of their reaching the aim of 
their love, they renounce it, and, instead of pulling 
out one another's hair, they act as a united group, 
do homage to the hero of the occasion with their 
common actions, and would probably be glad to have 
a share . of his flowing locks. Originally rivals, they 
have succeeded in identifying themselves with one 
another by means of a similar love for the same 
object. When, as is usual, a situation in the field of 
the instincts is capable of various outcomes, we need 
not be surprised if the actual outcome is one which 
involves the possibility of a certain amount of satis- 
faction, while another, even though in itself more 
obvious, is passed over because the circumstances of 
life prevent its attaining this aim. 

What appears later on in society in the shape 
of Gemeingeist^ esprit de corps ^ * group spirit', etc., 
does not belie its derivation from what was originally 

88 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

envy. No one must want to put himself forward, 
every one must be the same and have the same. 
Social justice means that we deny ourselves many 
things so that others may have to do without them 
as well, or, what is the same thing, may not be able 
to ask for them. This demand for equality is the 4 
root of social conscience and the sense of duty. It 
reveals itself unexpectedly in the syphilitic 's dread 
of infecting other people, which psycho-analysis has ^ 
taught us to understand. The dread exhibited by 
these poor wretches corresponds to their violent 
struggles against the unconscious wish to spread their ' 
infection on to other people; for why -should they 
alone be infected and cut off from so much? why I 
not other people as well? And the same germ is to | 
be found in the pretty anecdote of the judgement of 
Solomon. If one woman's child is dead, the other -I 
shall not have a live one either. The bereaved 
woman is recognized by this wish. 

Thus social feeling is based upon the reversal of 
what was first a hostile feeling into a positively-toned i 
tie of the nature of an identification. So far as we - 
have hitherto been able to follow the course of events, 
this reversal appears to be effected under the influence 
of a common tender tie with a person outside the 
group. We do not ourselves regard our analysis of 
identification as exhaustive, but it is enough for our 
present purpose that we should revert to this one 

The Herd Instinct 89 

feature — its demand that equalization shall be con- 
sistently carried through. We have already heard in 
the discussion of the two artificial groups, church and 
army, that their preliminary condition is that all their 
members should be loved in the same way by one 
person, the leader. Do not let us forget, however, that 
the demand for equality in a group applies only to its 
members and not to the leader. All the members 
must be equal to one another, but they all want to 
be ruled by one person. Many equals, who can 
identify themselves with one another, and a single 
person superior to them all — that is the situation 
that we find realised in groups which are capable of 
subsisting. Let us venture, then, to correct Trotter's 
pronouncement that man is a herd animal and assert 
that he is rather a horde animal, an individual creature 
in a horde led by a chief. 



In 19 1 2 I took up a conjecture of Darwin's to the 
effect that the primitive form of human society 
was that of a horde ruled over despotically by a 
powerful male. I attempted to show that the fortunes 
of this horde have left indestructible traces upon the 
history of human descent; and, especially, that the 
development of totemism, which comprises in itself 
the beginnings of religion, morality% and social organisa- 
tion, is connected with the killing of the chief by 
violence and the transformation of the paternal horde 
into a community of brothers.^ To be sure, this is 
only a hypothesis, like so many others with which 
archaeologists endeavour to lighten the darkness of 
prehistoric times — a * Just-So Story ' , as it was amusingly 
called by a not unkind critic (Kroeger); but I think it 
is creditable to such a hypothesis if it proves able to 

^ Totem und Tabu. 


The Group and the Primal Horde 91 

bring coherence and understanding into nk)re and 
more new regions. 

Human groups exhibit once again the familiar 
picture of an individual of superior strength among a 
troop of similar companions, a picture which is also 
contained in our idea of the primal horde. The 
psychology of such a group, as w^e know it from the 
descriptions to Vv^hich we have so often referred — the 
dwindling of the conscious individual personality, the 
focussing of thoughts and feelings into a common 
direction, the predominance of the emotions and of 
the [unconscious mental life, the tendency to the im- 
mediate carrying out of intentions as they emerge — 
all this corresponds to a state of regression to a 
primitive mental activity, of just such a sort as we 
should be inclined to ascribe to the primal horde/ 

* What we have just described in our general characterisa- 
tion of mankind must apply especially to the primal horde. 
The will of the individual was too weak; he did not venture 
upon action. No impulses whatever came into play except col- 
lective ones; there was only a common will, there were no single 
ones. An idea did not dare to turn itself into a volition unless 
it felt itself reinforced by a perception of its general diffusion. 
This weakness of the idea is to be explained by the strength of 
the emotional tie which is shared by all the members of the 
horde ; but the similarity in the circumstances of their life and the 
absence of any private property assist in determining the uniformity 
of their individual mental acts. As we may observe with children 
and soldiers, common activity is not excluded even in the ex- 
cremental functions. The one great exception is provided by the 


92 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

Thus the group appears to us as a revival of 
the primal horde. Just as primitive man virtually 
survives in every individual, so the primal horde may 
arise once more out of any randorn crowd; in so far 
as men are habitually under the sway of group form- 
ation we recognise in it the survival of the primal 
horde. We must conclude that the psychology of the 
group is the oldest human psychology; what we have 
isolated as individual psychology, by neglecting 
all traces of the group, has only since come into 
prominence out of the old group psychology, by a 
gradual process which may still, perhaps, be described 
as incomplete. We shall later venture upon an 
attempt at specifying the point of departure of this 

Further reflection will show us in what re- 
spect this statement requires correction. Individual 
psychology must, on the contrary, be just as old as 
group psychology, for from the first there were two 
kinds of psychologies, that of the individual members 
of the group and that of the father, chief, or leader. 
The members of the group were subject to ties just 
as we see them to-day, but the father of the primal 
horde was free. His intellectual acts were strong and 

sexual act, in which a third person is at the best superfluous and 
in the extreme case is condemned to a state of painful expectancy. 
As to the reaction of the sexual need (for genital gratification) 
towards gregariousness, see below. 

The Group and the Primal Horde 93 

independent even in isolation, and his will needed no 
reinforcement from others. Consistency leads us to 
assume that his ego had few libidinal ties; he loved 
no one but himself, or other people only in so far as 
they served his needs. To objects his ego gave away 
no more than was barely necessary. 

He, at the very beginning of the history of 
mankind, was the Superman whom Nietzsche only 
expected from the future. Even to-day the members 
of a group stand in need of the illusion that they are 
equally and justly loved by their leader; but the leader 
himself need love no one else, he may be of a masterly 
nature, absolutely narcissistic, but self-confident and 
independent. We know that love puts a check upon 
narcissism, and it would be possible to show how, 
by operating in this way, it became a factor of 

The primal father of the horde was not yet 
immortal, as he later became by deification. If he 
died, he had to be replaced; his place was probably 
taken by a youngest son, who had up to then been 
a member of the group like any other. There must 
therefore be a possibility of transforming group psycho- 
logy into individual psychology; a condition must be 
discovered under which such a transformation is easily 
accomplished, just as it is possible for bees in case 
of necessity to turn a larva into a queen instead of 
into a worker. One can imagine only one possibility: 

94 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

the primal father had prevented Jiis_ sons from satis- 
fying their directly sexual tendencies; he forced them 
into abstinence and consequently into the emotional 
ties with him and with one another which could arise 
out of those of their tendencies that were inhibited 
in their sexual aim. He forced them, so to speak, 
into group psychology. His sexuaF jealousy and intol- 
erance became in the last resort the causes of group 

. Whoever became his successor was also given 
the possibility of sexual satisfaction, and w^as by that 
means offered a way out of the conditions of group 
psychology. The fixation of the libido to woman and 
the possibility of satisfaction without any need for delay 
or accumulation made an end of the importance of 
those of his sexual tendencies that were inhibited in 
their aim, and allowed his narcissism always to rise 
to its full height. We shall return in a postscript to 
this connection between love and character formation. 
We may further emphasize, as being specially 
instructive, the relation that holds between the con- 
trivance by means of which an artificial group is held 
together and the constitution of the primal horde. 
We have seen that with an army and a church this 

^ It may perhaps also be assumed that the sons, when they 
were driven out and separated from their father, advanced from 
identification with orje another to homosexual object love, and in 
this way won freedom to kill their father. 


The Group and the Primal Horde 95 

contrivance is the illusion that the leader loves all of 
the individuals equally and justly. But this is simply 
an idealistic remodelling of the state of affairs in the 
primal horde, where all of the sons knew that theyV 
were equally persecuted by the primal father, and ' 
feared him equally. This same recasting upon which" 
all social duties are built up is already presupposed 
by the next form of human society, the totemistic 
clan. The indestructible strength of the family as a 
natural group formation rests upon the fact that this 
necessar}^ presupposition of the father's equal love 
can have a real application in the family. 

But we expect even more of this derivation of 
the group from the primal horde. It ought also to 
help us to understand what is still incomprehensible 
and mysterious in group formations — all that lies 
hidden behind the enigmatic words hypnosis and sug- 
gestion. And I think it can succeed in this too. Let 
us recall that hypnosis has something positively uncanny 
about it; but the characteristic of uncanniness sug- 
gests something old and familiar that has undergone 
repression.^ Let us consider how hypnosis is induced. 
The hypnotist asserts that he is in possrjssion of a 
mysterious power which robs the subject of his own 
will, or, which is the same thing, the subject believes 
it of him. This mysterious power (which is even now 

1 < 

Das Unheimliche.' Imago, 1919, Bd. V. 

g6 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

often described popularly as animal magnetism) must 
be the same that is looked upon by primitiv^e people 
as the source of taboo, the same that emanates from 
kings and chieftains and makes it dangerous to 
approach them (mana). The hypnotist, then, is sup- 
posed to be in possession of this power; and how 
does he manifest it? By telling the subject to look 
him in the eyes; his most typical method of hypnotising 
is by his look. But it is precisely the sight of the 
chieftain that is dangerous and unbearable for primitive 
people, just as later that of the Godhead is for 
mortals. Even Moses had to act as an intermediary 
betw^een his people and Jehovah, since the people 
could not support the sight of God; and when he 
returned from the presence of God his face shone — 
some of the mana had been transferred on to him, 
just as happens with the intermediary among primitive 

Jt is true that hypnosis can also be evoked in 
other ways, for instance by fixing the 'eyes upon a 
bright object or by listening to a monotonous sound. 
This is misleading and has given occasion to inad- 
equate physiological theories. As a matter of fact 
these procedures merely serve to divert conscious 
attention and to hold it riveted. The situation is 
the same as if the hypnotist had said to the subject: 

^ See Totem und Tabu and the sources there quoted. 

The Group and the Primal Horde 97 

* Now concern yourself exclusively with my person; 
the rest of the world is quite uninteresting. ' It would 
of course be technically inexpedient for a hypnotist 
to make such a speech; it would tear the subject 
away from his unconscious attitude and stimulate him 
to conscious opposition. The hypnotist avoids directing 
the subject's conscious thoughts towards his own 
intentions, and makes the person upon whom he is 
experimenting sink into an activity in which the 
world is bound to seem uninteresting to him; but at 
the same time the subject is in reality unconsciously 
concentrating his whole attention upon the hypnotist, 
and is getting into an attitude of rapport^ of trans- 
ference on to him. Thus the indirect methods of 
hypnotising, like many of the technical procedures 
used in making jokes, have the effect of checking 
certain distributions of mental energy which would 
interfere with the course of events in the unconscious, 
and they lead eventually to the same result as the 
direct methods of influence by means of staring or 

^ This situation, in which the subject's attitude is uncon- 
sciously directed towards the hypnotist, while he is consciously 
occupied with monotonous and uninteresting perceptions, finds a 
parallel among the events of psycho-analytic treatment, which 
deserves to be mentioned here. At least once in the course of 
every analysis a moment comes when the patient obstinately 
maintains that just now positively nothing whatever occurs to 
his mind. His free associations come to a stop and the usual 

98 Group Psychology and the Ayialysis of the Ego 

Ferenczi has made the true discovery that when 
a hypnotist gives the command to sleep, which is 
often done at the beginning of hypnosis, he is putting 
himself in the place of the subject's parents. He 
thinks that two sorts of hypnosis are to be distin- 
guished : one coaxing and soothing, which he con- 
siders is modelled upon the mother, and another 
threatening, which is derived from the father.^ Now 
the command to sleep in hypnosis means nothing 
more nor less than an order to withdraw all interest 
from the world and to concentrate it upon the person 
of the hypnotist. And it is so understood by the 
subject; for in this withdrawal of interest from the 
outer world lies the psychological characteristic of 
sleep, and the kinship between sleep and the state of 
hypnosis is based upon it. 

incentives for putting them in motion fail in their effect. As a result 
of pressure the patient is at last induced to admit that he is 
thinking of the view from the consulting-room window, of the 
wall-paper that he sees before him, or of the gas-lamp hanging 
from the ceiling. Then one knows at once that he has gone off 
into the transference and that he is engaged upon what are still 
unconscious thoughts relating to the physician; and one sees the 
stoppage in the patient's associations disappear, as soon as he has 
been given this explanation. 

^ Ferenczi: * Introjektion und Ubertragung.' Jahrbuch der 
Psycho analyse^ 1909, Bd. I. [Contridjitions to Psycho- Analysis. 
Boston, Badger, 1916, Chapter II.] 

The Group and the Primal Horde 99 

By the measures that he takes, then, the hyp- 
notist awakens in the subject a portion of his archaic 
inheritance which had also made him compliant to- 
wards his parents and which had experienced an 
individual re-animation in his relation to his father; 
what is thus awakened is ' the idea of a paramount 
and dangerous personality, towards whom only a 
passive-masochistic attitude is possible, to whom one's 
will has to be surrendered, — while to be alone with 
him, 'to look him in the face', appears a hazardous 
enterprise. It is only in some such way as this that 
we can picture the relation of the individual member 
of the primal horde to the primal father. As we 
know from other reactions, individuals have preserved 
a variable degree of personal aptitude for reviving 
old situations of this kind. Some knowledge that in 
spite of everything hypnosis is only a game, a decep- 
tive renewal of these old impressions, may however 
remain behind and take care that there is a resist- 
ance against any too serious consequences of the 
suspension of the will in hypnosis. 

The uncanny and coercive characteristics of group 
formations, which are shown in their suggestion 
phenomena, may therefore with justice be traced 
back to the fact of their origin from the primal 
horde. The lea der of t he group is still J:h_e, dreaded 
primal father; the group still wishes to be governed 
by unrestricted force: it has an extreme passion for 

.— mil ^11 1 ■—nil . ^-_^— ^^^,^ 


lOO Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

authority; in Le Bon's phrase, it has a thirst for 
obedience. The primal father is the group ideal, 
which governs the ego in the place of the ego ideal. 
Hypnosis has a good claim to being described as a 
group of two; there remains as a definition for 
suggestion — a conviction which is not based upon 
perception and reasoning but upon an erotic tie.^ 

* It seems to me worth emphasizing the fact that the dis- 
cussions in this section have induced us to give up Bernheim's 
conception of hypnosis and go back to the ndif earlier one. 
According to Bernheim all hypnotic phenomena are to be traced 
to the factor of suggestion, which is not itself capable of further 
explanation. We have come to the conclusion that suggestion is 
a partial manifestation of the state of hypnosis, and that hypnosis 
is solidly founded upon a predisposition which has survived in the 
unconscious from the early history of the human family. 



If we survey the life of an individual man of 
to-day, bearing in mind the mutually complementary 
accoimts of group psychology given by the authorities, 
we may lose the courage, in face of the complications 
that are revealed, to attempt a comprehensive ex- 
position. Each individual is a component part of 
numerous groups, he is bound by ties of identification 
in many directions, and he has built up his ego ideal 
upon the most various models. Each individual therefore / 
has a share in numerous group minds — those of his race, / 
of his class, of his creed, of his nationality, etc.— and 
he can also raise himself above them to the extent 
of having a scrap of independence and originality. 
Such stable and lasting group formations, with their 
uniform and constant effects, are less striking to an 
observer than the rapidly formed and transient groups 
from which Le Bon has made his brilliant psycho- 
logical character sketch of the group mind. And it is 
just in these noisy ephemeral groups, which are as it 

1 02 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

were superimposed upon the others, that we are met 
by the prodigy of the complete,, even though only 
temporary, disappearance of exactly what we have 
recognized as individual acquirements. 

We have interpreted this prodigy as meaning 
that the individual gives up his ego ideal and substi- 
tutes for it the group ideal as embodied in the 
leader. And we must add by way of correction 
that the prodigy is not equally great in every case. 

/ In many individuals the separation between the ego 

( and the ego ideal is not very far advanced; the two 
still coincide readily; the ego has often preserved its 
earlier self-complacency. The selection of the leader 
is very much facilitated by this circumstance. He 
need only possess the typical qualities of the individ- 
uals concerned in a particularly clearly marked and 
pure form, and need only give an impression of 
greater force and of more freedom of libido; and in 

\ that case the need for a strong chief will often meet 
him half-way and invest him with a predominance to 
which he would otherwise perhaps have had no claim. 
The other members of the group, whose ego ideal 
would not, apart from this, have become embodied 

I in his person without some correction, are then 
carried away with the rest by ^suggestion', that is 
to say, by means of identification. 

We are aware that what we have been able to 
contribute towards the explanation of the libidinal 

A Differentiating Grade in the Ego 103 

structure of groups leads back to the distinction 
between the ego and the ego ideal and to the 
double kind of tie which this makes possible — identi- 
fication, and substitution of the object for the ego 
ideal. The assumption of this kind of differentiating 
grade \Stufe\ in the ego as a first step in an 
analysis of the ego must gradually establish its justifi- 
cation in the most various regions of psychology. In 
my paper * Zur Einfiihrung des Narzissmus ' I have put 
together all the pathological material that could at the 
moment be used in support of this separation. But it 
may be expected that when we penetrate deeper 
into the psycholog}^ of the psychoses its significance 
will be discovered to be far greater. Let us reflect 
that the ego now appears in the relation of an object 
to the ego ideal which has been developed out of 
it, and that all the interplay between an outer object 
and the ego as a whole, with which our study of the 
neuroses has made us acquainted, may possibly be 
repeated upon this new scene of action inside the ego. 

In this place I shall only follow up one of the 
consequences which seem possible from this point of 
view, thus resuming the discussion of a problem 
which I was obliged to leave unsolved elsewhere.* 
Each of the mental differentiations that we have 
become acquainted with represents a fresh aggravation 
of the difficulties of mental functioning, increases its 

* *Trauer und MelanchoUe.* 

1 04 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

instability, and may become the starting-point for its 
breakdown, that is, for the onset of a disease. Thus, 
by being bom we have made the step from an ab- 
solutely self-sufficient narcissism to the perception of 
a changing outer world and to the beginnings of the 
discovery of objects. And with this is associated the 
fact that we cannot endure the new state of things 
for long, that we periodically revert from it, in our 
sleep, to our former condition of absence of stimul- 
ation and avoidance of objects. It is true, however, 
that in this we are following a hint from the outer 
world, which, by means of the periodical change of 
day and night, temporarily withdraws the greater part 
of the stimuli that affect us. The second example, 
which is pathologically more important, is not subject 
to any such qualification. In the course of our 
development we have effected a separation of our 
mental existence into a coherent ego and into an 
unconscious and repressed portion which is left outside 
it; and we know that the stability of this new acquis- 
ition is exposed to constant shocks. In dreams and 
/in neuroses what is thus excluded knocks for admission 
at the gates, guarded though they are by resistances; 
and in our waking health we make use of special 
artifices for allowing what is repressed to circumvent 
the resistances and for receiving it temporarily into 
our ego to the increase of our pleasure. Wit and 
humour, and to some extent the comic in general, 

A Differentiating Grade in the Ego 105 

may be regarded in this light. Everyone acquainted 
with the psychology of the neuroses will think of 
similar examples of less importance; but I hasten on 
to the application I have in view. 

It is quite conceivable that the separation of the 
ego ideal from the ego cannot be borne for long 
either, and has to be temporarily undone. In all 
renunciations and limitations imposed upon the ego 
a periodical infringement of the prohibition is the rule; 
this indeed is shown by the institution of festivals, 
which in origin are nothing more nor less than 
excesses provided by law and which owe their cheerful 
character to the release which they bring.^ The 
Saturnalia of the Romans and our modern carnival 
agree in this essential feature with the festivals of 
primitive people, which usually end in debaucheries 
of every kind and the transgression of what are at 
other times the most sacred commandments. But the 
ego ideal comprises the sum of all the limitations in 
which the ego has to acquiesce, and for that reason 
the abrogation of the ideal would necessarily be a 
magnificent festival for the ego, which might then 
once again feel satisfied with itself.^ 

* Totem und Tabu. 

^ Trotter traces repression back to the herd instinct. It is 
a translation of this into another form of expression rather than 
a contradiction when I say in my 'Einfiihrung des Narzissmus' 
that on the part of the ego the construction of an ideal is the 
condition of repression. 


1 06 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

There is always a feeling of triumph when 
something in the ego coincides with the ego ideal. 
And the sense of guilt (as well as the sense ot 
inferiority) can also be understood as an expression 
of tension between the ego and the ego ideal. 

It is well known that there are people the general 
colour of whose mood oscillates periodically from an 
excessive depression through some kind of intermediate | 
state to an exalted sense of well-being. These oscill- 
ations appear in very different degrees of amplitude, 
from what is just noticeable to those extreme instances 
which, in the shape of melancholia and mania, make 
the most painful or disturbing inroads upon the life 
of the person concerned. In t}^pical cases of this 
cyclical depression outer exciting causes do not seem 
to play any decisive part; as regards inner motives, 
nothing more (or nothing different) is to be found in 
these patients than in all others. It has consequently 
become the custom to consider these cases as not 
being psychogenic. We shall refer later on to those j 
other exactly similar cases of cyclical depression which 
can nevertheless easily be traced back to mental 

Thus the foundation of these spontaneous oscill- 
ations of mood is unknown; we are without insight 
into the mechanism of the displacement of a melan- 
cholia by a mania. So we are free to suppose that, 
these patients are people in whom our conjecture 

A Differentiating Grade in the Ego 107 


might find an actual application — their ego ideal might 
be temporarily resolved into their ego after having , 
previously ruled it with especial strictness. ) 

Let us keep to what is clear : On the basis of our^ 
analysis of the ego it cannot be doubted that in cases 
of mania the ego and the ego ideal have fused 
together, so that the person, in a mood of triumph 
and self-satisfaction, disturbed by no self-criticism, can 
enjoy the abolition of his inhibitions, his feelings of 
consideration for others, and his self-reproaches. It 
is not so obvious, but nevertheless very probable, that 
the misery of the melancholiac is the expression of a 
sharp conflict between the two faculties of his ego, 
a conflict in which the ideal, in an excess of sen- | 
sitiveness, relentlessly exhibits its condemnation of the ^ 
ego in delusions of inferiority and in self-depreciation. 
The only question is whether we are to look for the 
causes of these altered relations between the ego and 
the ego ideal in the periodic rebellions, which we 
have postulated above, against the new institution, or 
whether we are to make other circumstances respon- 
sible for them. 

A change into mania is not an indispensable 
feature of the symptomatology of melancholic depres- 
sion. There are simple melancholias, some in single 
and some in recurring attacks, which never show this 
development. On the other hand there are melancholias 
in which the exciting cause clearly plays an aetiological 

1 08 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

part. They are those which occur after the loss of 
a loved object, whether by death or as a result of 
circumstances which have necessitated the withdrawal 
of the libido from the object. A psychogenic melan- 
cholia of this sort can end in mania, and this cycle 
can be repeated several times, just as easily as in a 
case which appears to be spontaneous. Thus the 
state of things is somewhat obscure, especially as only 
a few forms and cases of melancholia have been 
submitted to psycho-analytical investigation.^ So far 
we only understand those cases in which the object 
is given up because it has shown itself unworthy of 
love. It is then set up again inside the ego, by 
means of identification, and severely condemned by 
the ego ideal. The reproaches and attacks directed 
towards the object come to light in the shape of 
melancholic self-reproaches.^ 

A melancholia of this kind may also end in a 
change to mania; so that the possibility of this happ- 
ening represents a feature which is independent of 
the other characteristics in the symptomatology. 

* Cf. Abraham: 'Ansatze zur psychoanalytischen Erforschung 
und Behandliing des manisch-depressiven Irreseins', 191 2, in 
Klinische Beitrdge zur Psychoanalyse, 192 1. 

^ To speak more accurately, they conceal themselves behind 
the reproaches directed towards the person's own ego, and lend 
them the fixity, tenacity, and imperativeness which characterize 
the self-reproaches oi a melancholiac. 

A Differentiating Grade in the Ego 109 

Nevertheless I see no difficulty in assigning to 
the factor of the periodical rebellion of the ego 
against the ego ideal a share in both kinds of mel- 
ancholia, the psychogenic as well as the spontaneous. 
In the spontaneous kind it may be supposed that 
the ego ideal is inclined to display a peculiar strictness, 
which then results automatically in its temporary 
suspension. In the psychogenic kind the ego would 7 
be incited to rebellion by ill-treatment on the part of / 
its ideal — an ill-treatment which it encounters when \ 
there has been identification with a rejected object. j 



In the course of the enquiry which has just been 
brought to a provisional end we came across a number 
of side-paths w^hich we avoided pursuing in the first 
instance but in which there was much that offered 
us promises of insight. We propose now to take up 
a few of the points that have been left on one side 
in this way. 

A. The distinction between identification of the 
ego with an object and replacement of the ego ideal 
by an object finds an interesting illustration in the 
two great artificial groups which we began by studying, 
the army and the Christian church. 

It is obvious that a soldier takes his superior, 
that is, really, the leader of the army, as his ideal, 
while he identifies himself with his equals, and derives 
from this community of their egos the obligations for 
giving mutual help and for sharing possessions which 
comradeship implies. But he becomes ridiculous if 
he tries to identify himself with the general. The 


Postscript III 

soldier in Wallensteins Lager laughs at the sergeant 
for this very reason: 

Wie er rauspert und wie er spuckt, 
Das habt ihr ihm gliicklich abgeguckt ! ^ 

It is otherwise in the Catholic Church. Every 
Christian loves Christ as his ideal and feels himself 
united with all other Christians by the tie of identific- 
ation. But the Church requires more of him. He 
has also to identify himself with Christ and love all 
other Christians as Christ loved them. At both points, 
therefore, the Church requires that the position of 
the libido which is given by a group formation should 
be supplemented. Identification has to be added 
where object-choice has taken place, and object love 
where there is- identification. This addition evidently 
goes beyond the constitution of the group. One can 
be a good Christian and yet be far from the idea 
of putting oneself in Christ's place and of having like 
him an all-embracing love for mankind. One need 
not think oneself capable, weak mortal that one is, 
of the Saviour's largeness of soul and strength of 
love. But this further development in the distribution 
of libido in the group is probably the factor upon 
which Christianity bases its claim to have reached a 
higher ethical level. 

^ [Literally: *How he clears his throat and how he spits, 
that you have cleverly copied from him,'] 

1 1 2 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

B. We have said that it would be possible to 
specify the point in the mental development of man 
at which the advance from group to individual psycho- 
logy was also achieved by the individual members 
of the group/ 

For this purpose we must return for a moment 
to the scientific myth of the father of the primal 
horde. He was later on exalted into the creator of 
the world, and with justice, for he had produced all 
the sons who composed the first group. He was the 
ideal of each one of them, at once feared and 
honoured, a fact which led later to the idea of taboo. 
These many individuals eventually banded themselves 
together, killed him and cut him in pieces. None 
of the group of victors could take his place, or, 
if one of them did, the battles began afresh, until 
they understood that they must all renounce their 
father's heritage. They then formed the totemistic 
community of brothers, all with equal rights and 
united by the totem prohibitions which were to 
preserve and to expiate the memory of the murder. 
But the dissatisfaction with what had been achieved 
still remained, and it became the source of new 
developments. The persons who were united in this 
group of brothers gradually came towards a revival 

^ What follows at this point was written under the influence 
of an exchange of ideas with Otto Rank. 

Postscript 113 

of the old state of things at a new level. Man 
became once more the chief of a family, and broke 
down the prerogatives of the gynaecocracy which had 
become established during the fatherless period. As 
a compensation for this he may at that time have 
acknowledged the mother deities, whose priests were 
castrated for the mother's protection, after the example 
that had been given by the father of the primal 
horde. And yet the new family was only a shadow 
of the old one; there were numbers of fathers and 
each one was limited by the rights of the others. 

It was then, perhaps, that some individual, in 
the exigency of his longing, may have been moved 
to free himself from the group and take over the 
father's part. He who did this was the first epic 
poet; and the advance was achieved in his imagination. 
This poet disguised the truth with lies in accordance 
with his longing. He invented the heroic myth. The 
hero was a man who by himself had slain the father 
— the father who still appeared in the myth as a 
totemistic monster. Just as the father had been the 
boy's first ideal, so in the hero who aspires to the 
father's place the poet now created the first ego 
ideal. The transition to the hero was probably 
afforded by the youngest son, the mother's favourite, 
whom she had protected from paternal jealousy, and 
who, in the era of the primal horde, had been the 
father's successor. In the lying poetic fancies of 

114 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

prehistoric times the woman, who had been the prize 
of battle and the allurement to murder, was probably- 
turned into the seducer and instigator to the crime. 

The hero claims to have acted alone in accom- 
plishing the deed, which certainly only the horde as a 
whole would have ventured upon. But, as Rank has 
observed, fairy tales have preserved clear traces of 
the facts which were disavowed. For we often find 
in them that the hero who has to carry out some 
difficult task (usually a youngest son, and not in- 
frequently one who has represented himself to the 
father surrogate as being stupid, that is to say, 
harmless) — we often find, then, that this hero can 
carry out his task only by the help of a crowd of 
small animals, such as bees or ants. These would 
be the brothers in the primal horde, just as in the 
same way in dream symbolism insects or vermin 
signify brothers and sisters (contemptuously, considered 
as babies). Moreover every one of the tasks in 
myths and fairy tales is easily recognisable as a 
substitute for the heroic deed. 

The myth, then, is the step by which the 
individual emerges from group psychology. The first 
myth was certainly the psychological, the hero m)^h; 
the explanatory nature myth must have followed much 
later. The poet who had taken this step and had 
in this way set himself free from the group in his 
imagination, is nevertheless able (as Rank has further 

Postscript 115 

observed) to find his way back to it in reality. For 
he goes and relates to the group his hero's deeds 
which he has invented. At bottom this hero is no 
one but himself. Thus he lowers himself to the level 
of reality, and raises his hearers to the level of 
imagination. But his hearers understand the poet, 
and, in virtue of their having the same relation of 
longing towards the primal father, they can identify 
themselves with the hero.^ 

The lie of the heroic myth culminates in the 
deification of the hero. Perhaps the deified hero 
may have been earlier than the Father God and 
may have been a precursor to the return of the 
primal father as a deity. The series of gods, then, 
would run chronologically: Mother Goddess — Hero — 
Father God. But it is only with the elevation of the 
never forgotten primal father that the deity acquires 
the features that we still recognise in him to-day.^ 

C. A great deal has been said in this paper about 
directly sexual instincts and those that are inhibited 

* Cf» Hanns Sachs: *Gemeinsame Tagtraume*, a summary 
made by the lecturer himself of a paper read at the Sixth Psycho- 
analytical Congress, held at the Ha^e in 1920. Internationale 
Zeitschrift fiir Psychoanalyse, 1920, Bd. VI. ['Day-Dreams in 
Common'. International Journal of Psycho- Analysis, 1 920, Vol. I.] 

^ In this brief exposition I have made no attempt to bring 
forward any of the material existing in legends, myths, fairy tales, 
the history of manners, etc., in support of the construction. 

1 1 6 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

in their aims, and it may be hoped that this distinction 
will not meet with too much resistance. But a 
detailed discussion of the question will not be out of 
place, even if it only repeats what has to a great 
extent already been said before. 

The development of the libido in children has 
made us acquainted with the first but also tlie best 
example of sexual instincts which are inhibited in their 
aims. All the feelings which a child has towards its 
parents and those who look after it pass by an easy 
transition into the wishes which gw^ expression to 
the child's sexual tendencies. The child claims from 
these objects of its love all the signs of affection 
which it knows of; it wants to kiss them, touch them, 
and look at them; it is curious to see their genitals, 
and to be with them when they perform their intimate 
excremental functions; it promises to marry its mother 
or nurse — w^hatever it may understand by that; it 
proposes to itself to bear its father a child, etc. Direct 
observation, as well as the subsequent analytic investi- 
gation of the residue of childhood, leave no doubt 
as' to the complete fusion of tender and jealous 
feelings and of sexual intentions, and show us in 
what a fundamental way the child makes the person 
it loves into the object of all its incompletely centred 
sexual tendencies.^ 

* Cf. Drei Abkandlungen zur Sexualtheorie. 

Postscript 1 1 7 

This first configuration of the child's love, which in 
typical cases is co-ordinated with the Oedipus complex, 
succumbs, as we know, from the beginning of the period 
of latency onwards to a wave of repression. Such ot 
it as is left over shows itself as a purely tender 
emotional tie, which relates to the same people, but 
is no longer to be described as ^sexual'. Psycho- 
analysis, which illuminates the depths of mental life, 
has no difficulty in showing that the sexual ties of 
the earliest years of childhood also persist, though 
repressed and unconscious. It gives us courage to 
assert that wherever we come across a tender feeling 
it is the successor to a completely ^sensual' object 
tie with the person in question or rather with that 
person's prototype (or imago). It cannot indeed 
disclose to us without a special investigation whether 
in a given case this former complete sexual current 
still exists under repression or whether it has already 
been exhausted. To put it still more precisely: it is 
quite certain that it is still there as a form and 
possibility, and can always be charged with cathectic 
energy and put into activity again by means of 
regression; the only question is (and it cannot always 
be answered) what degree of cathexis and operative 
force it still has at the present moment. Equal care 
must be taken in this connection to avoid two sources 
of error— the Scylla of under-estimating the importance 
of the repressed unconscious, and the Charybdis of 

1 1 8 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

judging the normal entirely by the standards of the 

A psychology which will not or cannot penetrate 
the depths of what is repressed regards tender 
emotional ties as being invariably the expression of 
tendencies which have no sexual aim, even though 
they are derived from tendencies which have such 
an aim.^ 

We are justified in saying that they have been 
diverted from these sexual aims, even though there 
is some difficulty in giving a representation of such 
a diversion of aim which will conform to the 
requirements of metapsychology. Moreover, those 
instincts which are inhibited in their aims always 
preserve some few of their original sexual aims; even 
an affectionate devotee, even a friend or an admirer, 
desires the physical proximity and the sight of the 
person who is now loved only in the ^Pauline' sense. 
If we choose, we may recognise in this diversion of 
aim a beginning of the sublimation of the sexual 
instincts, or on the other hand we may fix the limits 
of sublimation at some more distant point. Those 
sexual instincts which are inhibited in their aims have 
a great functional advantage over those which are 
uninhibited. Since they are not capable of really 

^ Hostile feeling^s, which are a little more complicated in 
their construction, offer no exception to this rule. 


Postscript 1 1 9 

complete satisfaction, they are especially adapted to 
create permanent ties; while those instincts which are 
directly sexual incur a loss of energy each time they 
are satisfied, and must wait to be renewed by a 
fresh accumulation of sexual libido, so that mean- 
while the object may have been changed. The 
inhibited instincts are capable of any degree of 
admixture with the uninhibited; they can be trans- 
formed back into them, just as they arose out of 
them. It is well known how easily erotic wishes 
develop out of emotional relations of a friendly 
character, based upon appreciation and admiration, 
(compare Moliere's 'Embrassez-moi pour I'amour du 
grec'), between a master and a pupil, between a 
performer and a delighted listener, and especially in 
the case of women. In fact the growth of emotional 
ties of this kind, with their purposeless beginnings, 
provides a much frequented pathway to sexual object- 
choice. Pfister, in his Frommigkeit des Graf en von 
Zinzendorf^ has given an extremely clear and certainly 
not an isolated example of how easily even an 
intense religious tie can revert to ardent sexual 
excitement. On the other hand it is also very usual 
for directly sexual tendencies, short-lived in themselves, 
to be transformed into a lasting and purely tender tie; 

^ [Sckri/ten zur angewandten Seelenkunde. Heft 8. Vienna, 
Deuticke; 1910.] 

1 20 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

and the consolidation of a passionate love marriage 
rests to a large extent upon this process. 

We shall naturally not be surprised to hear that 
the sexual tendencies that are inhibited in their aims 
arise out of the directly sexual ones when inner or 
outer obstacles make the sexual aims unattainable. 
The repression during the period of latency is an 
inner obstacle of this kind — or rather one which has 
become inner. We have assumed that the father of 
the primal horde owing to his sexual intolerance 
compelled all his sons to be abstinent, and thus 
forced them into ties that were inhibited in their 
aims, while he reserved for himself freedom of sexual 
enjoyment and in this way remained without ties. All 
the ties upon which a group depends are of the 
character of instincts that are inhibited in their aims. 
But here we have approached the discussion of a 
new subject, which deals with the relation between 
directly sexual instincts and the formation of groups. 

D. The last two remarks will have prepared us 
for finding that directl y sexual t endencies are unfavour- 
able to -the^ior^nation jdI _groups. In the history of 
the development of the family there have also, it 
is true, been group relations of sexual love (group 
marriages); but the more important sexual love 
became for the ego, and the more it developed the 
characteristics of being in love, the more urgently it 
required to be limited to two people — una cum 

Postscript 1 2 I 

uno — as is prescribed by the nature of the genital 
aim. Polygamous inclinations had to be content to 
find satisfaction in a succession of changing objects. 

Twe-^eo ple comi ng— together ior- the purpose of 
sgxuaLaatisfaction, , in so fa r as the y se ek- for solitii(ie, 
are^jnakiD g a dern QnstratiQa.,against the herd instinct,, 
the group feeling. Xhe— more-4h€y-~ are in-Joai^^jthe 
more co mpletely th ey suffice for each other. The 
rejection of the group's influence is manifested in the 
shape of a sense of shame. The extremely violent 
feelings of jealousy are sutnmoned up in order to 
protect the sexual object-choice from being encroached 
upon by a group tie. It is only—whea the tender^ 
that Js^-thf^ personal, factQr__Qf_a love relation gives 
place entir£ly,„tQ.. the sensual QQ£^__thaluit-is possible 

for two people-Jt£X have sexual intercourse in the 

presence of ^t hers o r for there to be simultaneous 
sexual acts in a group as occurs at an orgy. But at 
that point a regression has taken place to an early 
stage in sexual relations, at which being in love as 
yet played no part, and all sexual objects were 
judged to be of equal value, somewhat in the sense 
of Bernard Shaw's malicious aphorism to the effect 
that being in love means greatly exaggerating the 
difference between one woman and another. 

There are abundant indications that being in 
love only made its appearance late on in the sexual 
relations between men and women: so that the 

122 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

opposition between sexual love and group ties is also 
a late development. Now it may seem as though 
this assumption were incompatible with our myth of 
the primal family. For it was after all by their love 
for their mothers and sisters that the troop of 
brothers was, as we have supposed, driven to 
parricide; and it is difficult to imagine this love as 
being anything but unbroken and primitive — that is, 
as an intimate union of the tender and the sensual. 
But further consideration resolves this objection into 
a confirmation. One of the reactions to the parricide 
was after all the institution of totemistic exogamy, 
the prohibition of any sexual relation with those 
women of the family who had been tenderly loved 
since childhood. In this way a wedge was driven in 
between a man's tender and sensual feelings, one still 
firmly fixed in his erotic life to-day.^ As a result ot 
this exogamy the sensual needs of men had to be 
satisfied with strange and unloved women. 

In the great artificial groups, the church and the 
army, there is no room for woman as a sexual 
object. The love relation between men and women 
remains outside these organisations. Even where 
groups are formed which are composed of both men 
and women the distinction between the sexes plays 
no part. There is scarcely any sense in asking whether 

* See *Ober die allgemeinste Erniedri^ng des Liebeslebens.* 

Postscript 123 

the libido which keeps groups together is of a homo- 
sexual or of a heterosexual nature, for it is not 
differentiated according to the sexes, and particularly 
shows a complete disregard for the aims of the genital 
organisation of the libido. 

Even in a person who has in other respects become 
absorbed in a group the directly sexual tendencies 
preserve a little of his individual activity. If they 
become too strong they disintegrate every group 
formation. The Catholic Church had the best of 
motives for recommending its followers to remain 
unmarried and for imposing celibacy upon its priests; 
but falling in love has often driven even priests to 
leave the church. In the same way love for women 
breaks through the group ties of race, of national 
separation, and of the social class system, and it 
thus produces important effects as a factor in civili- 
zation. It seems certain that homosexual love is 
far more compatible with group ties, even when it 
takes the shape of uninhibited sexual tendencies — a 
remarkable fact, the explanation of which might carry 
us far. 

The psycho-analytic investigation of the psycho- 
neuroses has taught us that their symptoms are to 
be traced back to directly sexual tendencies which 
are repressed but still remain active. We can complete 
this formula by adding to it: or, to tendencies inhibited 
in their aims, whose inhibition has not been entirely 

124 Gronp Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

successful or has made room for a return to the 
repressed sexual aim. It is in accordance with this 
that a neurosis should make its victim asocial and 
should remove him from the usual group formations. 
It may be said that a neurosis has the same dis- 
integrating effect upon a group as being in love. 
On the other hand it appears that where a powerful 
impetus has been given to group formation neuroses 
may diminish and at all events temporarily disappear. 
Justifiable attempts have also been made to turn this 
antagonism between neuroses and group formation to 
therapeutic account. EyerLt hose who do ^ not jcegret the 
disappear ance of religious illnsionR^fcom the civilized 
WQild_ of to-day . will ad niil^ that so long as ^ey; 
were in force they offered those who were bound 

by them t];;t£-.^_i3qh^t:^j2nwerfnl prntertion against the 

danger of neurosis. Nor is it hard to discern in 

all the ties with mystico-religious or philosophico- 
religious sects and communities the manifestation of 
distorted cures of all kinds of neuroses. All of this 
is bound up with the contrast between directly 
sexual tendencies and those which are inhibited in 
their aims. 

If he is left to himself, a neurotic is obliged to 
replace by his own symptom formations the great 
group formations from which he is excluded. He 
creates his own world of imagination for himself, his 
own religion, his own system of delusions, and thus 

Postscript 1 2 5 

recapitulates the institutions of humanity in a distorted 
way which is clear evidence of the dominating part 
played by the directly sexual tendencies.^ 

E. In conclusion, we will add a comparative 
estimate, from the standpoint of the libido theory, 
of the states with which we have been concerned, of 
being in love, of hypnosis, of group formation, and 
of the neurosis. 

Being in love is based upon the simultaneous 
presence of directly sexual tendencies and of sexual 
tendencies that are inhibited in their aims, so that 
the object draws a part of the narcissistic ego-libido 
to itself. It is a condition in which there is only 
room for the ego and the object. 

Hypnosis resembles being in love in being limited 
to these two persons, but it is based entirely upon 
sexual tendencies that are inhibited in their aims 
and substitutes the object for the ego ideal. 

The group multiplies this process; it agrees with 
hypnosis in the nature of the instincts which hold it 
together, and in the replacement of the ego ideal 
by the object; but to this it adds identification with 
other individuals, which was perhaps originally made 
possible by their having the same relation to the 

* See Totem und Tabu, towards the end of Part II, 'Das 
Tabu und die Ambivalenz '. 

1 26 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

Both states, hypnosis and group formation, are 
an inherited deposit from the phylogenesis of the 
human libido — hypnosis in the form of a predisposition, 
and the group, besides this, as a direct survival. 
The replacement of the directly sexual tendencies by 
those that are inhibited in their aims promotes in both 
states a separation between the ego and the ego ideal, 
a separation with which a beginning has already been 
made in the state of being in love. 

The neurosis stands outside this series. It also 
is based upon a peculiarity in the development of 
the human libido — the twice repeated start made by 
the directly sexual function, with an intervening period 
of latency.^ To this extent it resembles hypnosis and 
group formation in having the character of a regression, 
which is absent from being in love. It makes its 
appearance wherever the advance from directly sexual 
instincts to those that are inhibited in their aims has 
not been completely successful; and it represents a 
conflict between those instincts which have been 
received into the ego after having passed through 
this development and those portions of the same 
instincts which, like other instinctive desires that have 
been completely repressed, strive, from the repressed 
unconscious, to attain direct satisfaction. The neurosis 

^ See Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie, 4. Auflage, 
1920, S. 96. 

Postscript 1 27 

is extraordinarily rich in content, for it embraces all 
possible relations between the ego and the object — 
both those in which the object is retained and others 
in which it is abandoned or erected inside the ego 
itself — and also the conflicting relations between the 
ego and its ego ideal. 



Abraham, 62, 108. 
Affectivity. See ««<y«fr Emotion. 
Altruism, 57. 
Ambivalence, 18, 55, 61. 
Anaclitic type, 60. 
Archaic inheritance, 10, 99. 
Army, 42-6, 89, 94, no, 122. 
Autistic mental acts, 2. 

Be?'nheim, 35, loo. 
Bleuler, 2. 
Brothers, 43, 114. 

in Christ, 43. 

Community of, 90, 112, 122. 
Brugeilles, 34. 

Caesar, 44. 

Cathexis, 18, 20, 28, 117. 

Object-, 48, 58,60-1,71-2,76. 
Catholic Church, 42-3, 1 11, 123. 
Celibacy of priests, 123. 
Censorship of dreams, 16, 69. 
Chieftains, Mana in, 96. 
Children, 14, 16, 18-19, 30, 67, 
82, 91. 

Dread in, 83, 85-6. 

Parents and, 54, 86, 116. 

Sexual object of, 72, 116. 

Unconscious of, 18. 
Christ, 42-5, 50, III. 

Equal love of, 50. 

Identification with, in. 
Church, 42-3, 89, 94, iio-ii, 

Commander-in-Chief, 42-5. 
Conflict, 18, 107, 126. 

Conscience, 10, 28, 68-9,75, 79 

Social, 88. 
Contagion, Emotional, 10-13, 

27, 34-5, 46-7. 
Crowd, I, 3, 26, 92. 

Danger, Effect on groups, 46-9. 
Darwin, 90. 
Delusions : 

of inferiority, 107. 

of observation, 69. 
Devotion to abstract idea, 17, 


absence in groups, 15-16. 

interpretation in dreams, 
Dread : 

Children's, 83, 85-6. 

in a group, 46-8, 50. 

in an individual, 47-8. 

Neurotic, 48. 

of society, 10. 

Panic, 45-9. 
Dream, 20, 69, 104. 

Interpretation of doubt and 
uncertainty in, 15-16. 

symbolism, 114. 
Duty, Sense of, 84, 88, 95. 

Ego, 10, 18-19, 62-70, 74, 84, 
93, 100-9, 120, 125-7. 

Relations between ego ideal 
and, 68-70, 103, 105-10. 

Relations between object 
and, 62-70, 74-6, 108-10. 

1 30 Group Psychology aitd the Analysis of tJie Ego 

Ego ideal, 68-70, 74-7, 80, 
100-3, 105-10, 113, 126-7. 
Abrogation of the, 105. 
Hypnotist in the place of, 77. 
Object as substitute for, 74-6, 

80, 103, no. 
Relations between ego and, 

68-70, 103, 105-10. 
Testing reality of things, 77. 
The first, 113. 
Egoism, 57. 
Emotion : 

Ambivalent, 18, 55. 
Charge of, 28. 
Contagion of. See Contagion. 
Intensification of, in groups, 
16, 23, 27-30, 33, 46, 81. 
Primitive induction of, 27, 

34, 46-7. 
Tender, 72-3, 78, 1 16-17. 

Emotional tie, 40, 43, 45, 52-3, 
100, 117-20. 

Cessation of, 46-9. 
Empathy, relation to identi- 
fication, 66, 70. 
Enthusiasm, in groups, 25. 
Envy, 87-8. 

Equality, demand for, 88, 89. 
Eros, 38-40. 

Esprit de corps, origin of, 87. 
Ethical : 

conduct of a group, 18. 

level of Christianity, in. 

standards of individual, 24-5. 

Fairy tales, the hero in, 114. 
Family, 70, 95, 100, n3, 120. 

a group formation, 95. 

and Christian community, 43. 

and social instinct, 3. 

Primal, 122. 
Fascination, 11, 13, 21, 75. 

Father, 43, 92, 98-9. 

Equal love of, 95. 

God, 115. 

Identification with, 60-2. 

Object tie with, 62. 

Primal, 92, 94-5, 9Q-100, 
112-13, 115, 120. Deifi- 
cation of, 93, 115. Killing 
the, 94, 1 12-13, 122. 

Surrogate, 43, 114. 
Federn, P., 50. 
Felszeghy, Beta v., 48. 
Ferenczi, 'j6^ 98. 
Festivals, 105. 
Folk-lore, 25. 
Folk-song, 25. 
French Revolution, 26. 

for testing reality, 20, 77. 

(Instanz), 15. 

Gemeingeist, origin of, 87. 
Genital organisation, 19. 
God, 85, 5^. 

Father, 115. 
Gregariousness, 83-4, 92. 
Group : 

Artificial, 41-2, 52, 82, 89,94, 
no, 122. 

Different kinds of, 26, 41. 

Disintegration of, 49-5 1« 

Dread in, 47, 

Equality in, 89. 

feeling, 86-7, 121. 

Heightened affectivity in. 
See under Emotion. 

ideal, 100, 102. 

Intellectual capacity of, 14, 

18, 23, 25, 29, 31, 33, 8i- 

Intensification of emotion in. 
See 7mder Emotion. 

Leaders of. See under 



Group (continued) : 

Libidinal structure of, 37, 40, 

44-5. 47, 51, 53-4, 70, 
79-80, 102-3. 

marriages, 120. 

Mental change of the indi- 
vidual in, 6-I4j 33-4, 45> 
56, 81, 102. 

mind, 3, 5-27, 40, 49, 82. 

Organisation in, 26, 30-1, 33, 
41-2, 80, 82, 90. 

Primitive, 31, 33, 41, 80. 

psychological character of, 

psychology, 1-4, 6, 25-6, 33-4, 

37, 45, 53, 59, 92-4, loi, 

112, 114. 
Revolutionary, 26. 
Sexual instincts and, 120. 
spirit, 87. 

Stable, 26, 41, 84, 10 1. 
Suggestibility of, 11, 13, 35, 

Transient, 25, 41, 84, loi. 

Guilt,Senseof,20,63,65,84, 106. 

Gynaecocracy, 113. 

Hatred, 53, 56. 
Hebbel, 49. 
Herd, 83-5, 89. 

instinct, 3, 83-6, 105, 121. 
Hero, 17, 113-15- 
Homosexuality, 57, 66-7, 94, 

Horde Primal, 89-95, 99, 1 1 3-14, 
Father of the. See under 
Hypnosis, 10-13, 20-1, 77-9, 81, 
95-100, 125-6, 
a group of two, 78, 100. 
and sleep, 79, 98. 
of terror, 79. 

Hypnotist, 13, 77, 95-9. 
Hysteria, Identification in, 63-5. 

Idealisation, 74. 
Identification, 59-70, 75-6, 84, 
86-9, 94, 101-3, III, 125. 

Ambivalent, 61. 

in hysterical symptom, 63-5. 

Regression of object-choice 
to, 64. 

with a lost or rejected object, 
67-8, 108-9. 

with Christ, iii. 

with the father, 60-2. 

with the hero, 115. 

with the leader, iio-ii. 
Imitation, 34-5, 65, 70. 

a member of many groups, 

Dread in, 47-8. 
Mental change in a group. 

6-14, 33-4,45, 56,81, 102, 
Psychology, 1-2, 92-3, 112, 

Induction of emotion, 27, 34, 

Infection, mental, 64-65. 
Inferiority, Delusions of, 57, 

Inheritance, archaic, 10, 99. 
Inhibition : 

Collective, of intellectual 

functioning, 23, 33. 
Removal of, 17, 28, 33. 

Herd, 3, 83-6, 105, 121. 
inhibited in aim, 72-3, 78, 

1 1 5-26. 
Life and death, 56. 
Love, 37, 39, 58. 
Nutrition, 85. 
Primary, 84-5. 

1 32 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

Instinct (continued) : 
vSelf-preservative, 34, 85. 
Sexual, 19, 39, 56, 71-8, 

85-5, 94, 115-26. 
vSocial, 3. 
unhibited in aim, 73, 77-8, 

94, 115-26. 
Unconscious, 10. 
Intellectual ability," lowering of, 
in groups, 14, 18, 23, 25, 

29. 31. 33. 81. 
Introjection, of object into ego, 
65, 67-8, ^6. 

Jealousy, 121. 
Kings, Mana in, 96. 
Kraskovic, B. jnr., 23. 
Kroeger^ 90. 

Language, 25, i'^, 71. 
Latency, period of, 72, 117,^ 120. 

Leader, 20-2, 41, 44-5, 78, 82, 
85, 89, 92, 99, no. 
Abstractions as substitutes 

for, 53. 
Equal love of, 93, 95. 
Identification with, iio-ii. 
Killing the, 90. 
Loss of, 49. 
Negative, 53. 
Prestige of, 21-2. 
the group ideal, 100, 102, 1 10. 
Tie with, 49, 52, 66. 
Le Bon, 5-25, 29, 34, 82, 84, 

100- 1. 
Libidinal : 

structure of the group, 37, 

40, 44-5,47, 53, 7o, 79-8o, 

The word, 44. 
ties, 44, 56-8, 65, 93, 100. 
in the group, 45, 51, 54. 

Libido, 33-40, 44, 57, 79, 83, 

102, III, 116, 119, 123, 126. 
Narcissistic, 58, 74, 93, 104, 

Oral phase of, 61. 
theory, 57, 83, 125. 
Unification of, 19. 
Withdrawal of, 108. 
Love, 37-40, 42, 73, 87, 108, 

a factor of civilisation, 57, 93. 
and character formation, 94, 

and hatred, 56. 
Being in, 58, 71-9, 120-1, 

Child's, 1 16-17. 
Christ's, 43. 
Equal, 42, 50, 89, 93. 
Pauline, 118. 

Self-. See under Narcissism. 
Sensual, 71-3, 78, 117. 
Sexual, 37-8, 57, 120-2. 
Sublimated homosexual, 57. 
The word, 37-9, 71. 
Unhappy, 75. 
Unsensual, 73. 

McDougali, I, 26-31, 34-6, 

46-7, 49, 84. 
Magical power of words, 19. 
Magnetic influence, 11. 
Magnetism, animal, 96. 
Mana, 96. 
Mania, 106-9. 
Marcuszezciez, 68. 
Marriage, 54, 120. 
Melancholia, 68, 106-9. 
Metapsychology, 63, 118. 
Moede, Walter, 24. 
Moliere, 119. 
IMorality, Totemism the origin 

of, 90. 



Mother deities, 113, 115. 
^^llticellularit^', 7, 32, 83. 
Myth, 1 1 3-1 5.' 

Nacluiiansohn, 39. 

Names, Taboo upon, 19. 

Napoleon, 44. 

Narcissism, 2, 38, 54-8, 69, 74-5, 

93, 94, 104. 
Nestroy, 49. 

Neurosis, 18, 20, 37, 44, 58, 

63, 103-4,123-26. 

Nietzsche, 93. 

Nutrition, Instinct of, 84. 

Object, 57-8, 62, 68, 74, 87, 
93, 104, 125, 127. 
cathexis, 48, 58, 60-1, 71-2, 

Change of, 18, 119, 121. 
Child's, 72. 
-choice, 54, 62^ 64, 74, III, 

119, 121. 
Eating the, 61-62. ' 
Hyper-cathexis of, 76. 
Identification with ego, 108. 
Less or Renunciation of, 68, 

-love, 56, 63, 74, III. 
Relations with the ego, 65, 

67-8, 70, 76. 
Sexual, ^^, 72-3, 116. 
Substituted for ego ideal, 74, 
80, 103, 125. 
Observation, delusions of, 69. 
Oedipus complex, 60-61, 63, 
66, 117. 
Inverted, 62. 
Oral phase of organisation of 

the libido, 61. 
Organisation in groups, 26j 

30-1, 33, 41-2, 80, 82, 90. 
Orgy, 121. 

Panic, 45-9. 

Pan-sexualism, 39. 

Paul, Saint, 39, 118. 

PJister, 39, 119. 

Plato, 38. 

Poet, the first epic, 113-114. 

Power, 9, 15, 28. 

of leaders, 21. 

of words, 19. 
Prestige, 21-2, 34. 
Primitive peoples, 14, 18-19, 

24, 92, 96, 105. 
Psycho-Analysis, 4, 7 14, 18, 

36, 38-9. 59-60, 84, 97. 

Group, i-4, 6, 25-6, 33-4, 37» 

45. 53. 59. 92, 94, loi. 
Group and individual, 1-2, 

92-93, 112, 114. 
Psychoses, ^^, 103. 
Puberti% ^^, 72-73- 

Races, repugnance between 

related, S5. 
Rank, Otto, 112, 114. 
Rapport, 97. 

Function for testing, 20, i']. 
Contrast between Objective 
and Psychological, 20. 
Regression, 82, 91, 117, 121, 

Religion, 51, 90. 

Wars of, 51. 
Repressed : 

Sexual tendencies, 74, 117, 

The, 10, 104, 117-18, 126. 
Repression, 9, 54, 64-5, 69, 

72, 84, 95, 105, 117, 120, 
Resistance, 84, 104. 
Responsibility, Sense of, 9-10, 


1 34 Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego 

Rickter, Konrad, 36. 

Sachs, HannSy 16, 115. 
Schopenhauer, 54. 
Self- : 

consciousness, 30-1, 

depreciation, 107. 

love. See under Narcissism. 

observation, 69. 

preservation, 15, 34, 84-5. 

sacrifice, 11, 38, 75. 
Sex, 39. 
Sexual : 

act, 92, 121. 

aims, 58, 72. Diversion of 
instinct from, 58. Infantile, 
72. Obstacles to, 120. 

life, 19, 72. 

over-estimation, 53-5. 

Tendencies, Inhibited and 
unhibited. 72-3, 77-8, 94, 
1 1 5-16, 125-26. 

union, 37-8. 
Shaw, Bernard, 121. 
Sidis, Boris, 84. 
Sighele, 24-5. 
Simmel, E., 44. 
Sleep, 98, 104. 

and hypnosis, 98. 
Smith, Robertson, 70. 

duties, 88, 95. 

relations, 2-3, 57. 
Socialistic tie, 51. 
Society, 24, 26, 28, 90. 

Dread of, 10. 
Sociolo^. See under Group 

Speech, 84. 

devotion, 17, 75. 

homosexual love, 57. 
Sublimation, 118. 

Suggestibility, u, 13, 35, 84-5. 
Suggestion, 12-13, 17, 29, 34-7, 
40, 82, 95, 99, 102. 

Counter-, 35. 

Definition for, 100. 

Mutual, 12, 27, 34, 82. 
Superman, 93. 

Taboo, 19, 96, 112. 
Tarde, 34. 

Totemism, 90, 1 12-13. 
Totemistic : 

clan, 95. 

community of brothers, 112. 

exogamy, 122. 
Tradition, 17, 21. 

of the group, 31. 

of the individual, 32. 
Transference, 97-8. 
Trotter, 32, 83-5, 89, 105. 

Uncanniness, 95, 99, 
Uncertainty, absence in groups, 
interpretation in dreams, 
Unconscious, 8, 10, 12, 14-16, 
18, 23-4, 64, 67, 72,97. 
100, 104. 
Groups led by, 14. 
instincts, 10. 
Le Bon's, 10, 14, 24. 
of children, 18, 117. 
of neurotics, 18. 
Racial, 9. 

Wallenstein, 44. 
Wcir neuroses, 44. 
War, The, 44. 
Wilson, President, 44. 
Wishes, Affective cathexis of, 

Words, magical power of, 19. 



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